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DIODORUS ‘SICULUS’,' Greek historian 
of Agyrium in Sicily, c. 80 b.c.-2o b.c., 
wrote 40 books of world history, called 
Library of History, in three parts— mythical 
history of peoples, non-Greek and Greek, 
to the Trojan War; history to Alexander’s 
death (323 b.c.); history to £4 b.c. Of this 
we have Books I-V (Egyptians, Assyrians, 
Ethiopians, Greeks); Books XI-XX (Greek 
history 480 B.C.-302 b.c.); and fragments of 
the rest. He was an uncritical compiler, 
but used good sources and reproduced 
them faithfully. He is valuable for details 
unrecorded elsewhere, and as evidence for 
works now lost, especially writings of 
Ephorus, Apollodorus, Agartharchides, 
Philistus, and Timaeus. 


DEMCO, INC. 38-2931 

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DEC 05 1989 literature 

First published 1933 
Reprinted 1946, 1960, 1968, 1989 

Printed in Creat Britain by St. Edmundsbury Press Ltd, 
Bttry St. Edmunds, Suffolk, on tvood-free paper. 
Bound hy Hunter ir Foulis Ltd, Edinburgh, Scotland. 





General Introduction 

With but one exception antiquity affords no 
further information on the life and work of Diodorus 
of Sicily than is to be found in his own Library of 
History. The exception is St. Jerome, who, in his 
Chronology under the Year of Abraham 1968 
( = 49 BiC .), writes: “ Diodorus of Sicily, a writer of 
Greek history, became illustrious.’ 1 

Diodorus himself says (1. 4. 4) that the city of his 
birth was Agyrium in Sicily, one of the oldest settle- 
ments of the interior, which was visited even by 
Heracles (4. 24), whose cult was maintained by the 
inhabitants on a scale rivalling that of the Olympians, 
and this statement is rendered plausible by the 
importance accorded the city in his History, an 
importance quite out of proportion in a World History 
of only forty Books. 2 It is a striking coincidence 
that one of the only two Greek inscriptions from 
Agyrium (ZG. XIV, 588) marked the final resting- 
place of a “ Diodorus the son of Apollonius.’ 

The earliest date at which Diodorus is known to 

1 Diodorus Siculus Graecae scriptor historiae clarus habetur 
(p. 155, i, ed. Helm). This date must mark the first appear- 
ance of a portion of his History. 

* At that he is more reserved in this respect than Ephorus, 
who, according to Strabo (13. 3. 6), was so insistent on men- 
tioning the city of his origin, Cyme, that he once added, 
“ At the same time the Cymaeans were at peace. 


have been gathering material for his liistory is the 
180th Olympiad (60/59-57/6 d.c.), in the course of 
whicli he visited Egypt (1. 44. 1). Diodorus records 
that while there he saw with his own eyes a mob of 
Egyptians demand, and apparently secure, the death 
of a man connected with a Roman embassy, because 
lie had accidentally killed a eat, and tliis despite 
the fear wliich the Egyptians felt for the Romans, 
and despite the fact that “ Ptolemy their king had 
not as yet been given the appellation of ‘ friend ’ ” 
by the Romans (1. 83. 8). Ptolemy XI, “ the Piper,” 
had ascended the throne of the last nominally 
indepcndent Hellenistic kingdom in 80 b.c., and 
after waiting twenty years, a period in which the 
Roman Senate would neitlier avow nor repudiate 
him, finally securcd recognition by the Senate 
through the efforts of Caesar and Pompey in 59 b.c. 1 
This embassy is not mentioned in the Roman sources, 
but the huge sum required of Ptolemy by Caesar 
and Pompey in exchange for this recognition must 
certainly have required some such a diplomatic 
mission, and it may be assumed that it was dispatehed 
from Rome fairly early after January lst, when 
Caesar entered upon his consulship, or at least soon 
after February lst, when he first had the fasces. 
The date of this recognition of Ptolemy by Rome 
clearly shows that Diodorus was in Egypt in the 
year 59 b.c., the length of his visit remaining stili 

1 Suetonius, Julius, 54. 3 : Societates ac regna pretio dedit 
(so. Caesar), ut qui uni Ptolemaeo prope sex milia talentorum 
siio Pompeique nomine abstulerit. Ptolemy was driven from 
his throno by the people in 67 and restored by Gabinius in 
55; cp. the comments of Butler-Cary, ad loc. 


Diodorus had already commenced his work as early 
as 56 b.c. This is evident from the passage (1. 44. 
1-4) 1 in which he lists the number of years during 
which Egypt was under the control of foreigners. 
The last aliens to rule over Egypt, he says, are the 
Macedonians and their dynasty wlio have held the 
land for two hundred and seventy-six years. Now 
since the conquest of Egypt by Alexander is put by 
Diodorus (17. 49) in the year 331 b.c., he must liave 
been at work upon the composition of his Library of 
liistory at least as early as 56 b.c. 

The latest contemporary event mentioned by 
Diodorus is a reference to the city of Tauromenium 
in Sicily, when he records (16. 7. 1) that “ Caesar 
removed the citizens from their native state and the 
city reccived a Roman colony.” This may have 
taken place in 36 b.c., or soon thereafter, since 
Appian, Chii Wars, 5. 109 ff. telis how the city in 36 
closed its gates to Octavian, who was caught on the 
same day by Sextus Pompey and in the ensuing 
naval battle lost practically all his ships, barely 
escaping with his life. This disaster he could have 
avoided had the city received him and his forces, 
and the anger which he must have felt toward the 
city supplies the motive for the drastic punishment 
meted out to it. 2 The founding of this colony 

1 The significance of this evidenoe has, so far as I know, 
been overlooked by previous writers, even by 0. Cuntz, De 
Augusto Plinii geographicorum auctore (Bonn, 1888), pp. 32 ff., 
who has listed most fully the references in Diodorus to con¬ 
temporary events. 

* This is the date first suggested by 0. Cuntz, op. cit., p. 35, 
acoepted as “ probable ” by Belooh, Die Bevolkerung der 
griechisch-romischen Welt, p. 337, and by Schwartz, 

5. 663, and fully approved by Komemann, R-E 1 ., 4. 526. 



has been placed also in 21 b.c., the year in which, 
according to Cassius Dio (54. 7. 1), Augustus re- 
organized Sicily; * 1 but it seems most improbable 
that such an act of angry revenge should have been 
delayed for fifteen years on the occasion of a mere 
administrative reorganization which surely could 
have called for nothing like this. 

That Tauromenium was made a Roman colony in 
36 b.c. or a little later, and that, therefore, the latest 
date at which Diodorus is known to have been com- 
posing or revising his history is that year or a little 
later, would appear to be supported by two further 
considerations. Diodorus informs us (1. 4. 1) that 
he had spent thirty years in the composition of his 
history, and it may justly be assumed that this 
period includes the travels which he made and the 
dangers which he met in visiting the most important 
sites about which he intended to write. The begin- 
ning of this period must surely be set some years 
before 59 b.c., when he was in Egypt, since it is 
only reasonable to suppose that he had been tuming 
over his great undertaking in his mind and been 
reading and excerpting some authorities upon Egypt 
before he set out upon his travels. Furthermore, in 
view of the great admiration of the Roman Empire 
expressed by Diodorus it is difficult to believe that 

Cassias Dio (49. 12. 5) States that, after the defeat of Sextas 
Pompey and the humbling of Lepidas in 36 B.c., Octavian 
did actually panish certain unspeeified cities of Sicily, and 
among these must have been Tauromenium. 

1 This is the view of Mommsen, O.I.L., X, p. 718; Eomische 

Forschung, 2. p. 649, n. 1, of C. Wachsmuth, Uber das Qcschichts- 

werk des Sikelioten Diodoros (Leipzig, 1892), I, p. 3, and of 
M. Budinger, Die Universalhistorie im Alterthume, 114, n. 4. 


he would have said that the Macedonians were the 
last aliens to rule over Egypt, had he been working 
on his History after the incorporation of Egypt in 
the Roman Empire in 30 b.c. And this accords 
with the statement of Suidas, 1 that the floruit of 
Diodorus feli in the period of Augustus Caesar and 
before. 2 

The task which Diodorus set himself was to write 
one of “ the general histories ” (at Koival ioropiai), 3 
or “ the general events ” (at kolvoX wpdfets) 4 (1. 4. 6; 
5. 1. 4); in other words, to compose a Universal, 
or World, History from the Creation to his day. 
The adjective “ general ” or “ common ” is used 
so much by him that it may be possible to find 
in its connotation the clue to his motive in taking 
upon himself so great a task. In the decade 
between 70 and 60 b.c. he had seen the entire 
Mediterranean shore brought under the control of 
Rome by Pompey—Egypt was stili independent 
only in name, for its kings held their throne at the 
will of the Roman Senate—the sea swept clean of 
pirates, Roman supremacy extended “ to the bounds 

1 ylyove (sc. AiiSoipos) Se M tuv Avyiarou KaiVapos 

Kal hriva. 

« Although parts of his History must have appeared by 
49 B.c., it is reasonable to suppose that Diodorus published it 
as a whole, with consequent revision, at one time, between 
36 and 30 b.c. at the latest; op. below, p. xvi, n. 1. 

* Dionysius of Halicarnassus (1. 6) uses the same words in 
speaking of the writings of Timaeus. 

* Cp. 1. 3. 2, when he contrasts “ isolated wars waged by a 
single nation or a single state” with “ the general events” 
(ai koivoL irpice is). The same sharp distinction appears also 
in 1.4. 6, and he uses the same words to describe the Universal 
History of Ephorus (4. 1. 3). 


of the inhabited world ” (1. 4. 3). If Diodorus had 
not witnessed the celebration of this incorporation 
of the Eastern world in the Roman state, he had 
certainly heard from others of the great triumph of 
Pompey in 61 b.c., in the course of which banners 
announced that he had subdued fourteen nations, 
brought back 20,000 talents to the treasury, and 
almost doubled the annual revenue of the state. 
Under the dominion of Rome the Stoic idea of a 
cosmopolis was on the way to becoming an actuality. 
Ali mankind was coming to form a “ common ” 
civilization, a “ common ” society, and Diodorus 
could speak of a “ common life ” in the sense that 
the whole Mediterranean world was now interested 
in the same things and what benefited one nation 
was of common value to ali. If the term “ Western 
civilization ” may properly include two cultures so 
different, for instance, as those of the United States 
and Spain, it is no exaggeration to say that by 
60 b.c. Syrian, Greek, Iberian and Roman had 
become one. The limitations of the old city state, 
whereby a man was a stranger in any city but the 
one of his origin, were gone for ever. Surely, then, 
the history of each one of these nations was a matter 
of interest to all, since the past of every people was 
making its distinctive contribution to this most 
catholic of all civilizations, and he who would gather 
the records of all these peoples and present them in 
convenient form would ha ve “ composed a treatise 
of the utmost value to those who are studiously 
inclined ” (1. 3. 6). Some such considerations as 
these must have moved Diodorus to lay hand to 
such a work, and even if he was not the man fully 
to control the material before him, stili we cannot 


deny him at all events the apology of Propertius 

( 2 . 10 . 6 ): 

in magnis et voluisse sat est. 

In preparation for his History Diodorus States 
(1. 4. 1) that with much hardship and many dangers 
he visited all the most important regions of Europe 
and Asia. There is no evidence in his work that he 
travelled in any othcr land than Egypt, where he 
may have ascended the Nile as far as Memphis, in 
connection with which city he mentions a shrine of 
Isis which “ is pointed out to this day in the temple- 
area of Hephaestus ” (1. 22. 2); all the other details 
of his account of that marvellous land could have 
been gathered from his literary sources. The only 
other place where he claims to have stayed was 
Rome, which furnished him in abundance the 
materials necessary for his study (1. 4. 2). Certainly 
he never went to Mesopotamia, since he places 
Nineveh on the Euphrates, and it is kinder to suppose 
that he never visited Athens than to think that the 
glory of the Acropolis, if he had once seen it, was 
not considered important enough to deserve mention. 

Not only does Diodorus claim to have travelled 
widely in preparation for his History, but to have 
gained through his contact with the Romans in Sicily 
“ considerablc familiarity ” (iraWr) i/xirupia,!. 4.4) with 
tlieir language. In the general disparagement of 
Diodorus, his knowledge of Latin has not been over- 
looked, and he has been accused even of finding a 
nominative Fidenates from an ablative Fidenate. 1 

1 So Christ-Sohraid, Griechische Litteraturgeschichte* (1920), 
2. p. 403, n. 9, but without basis, as had been shown by G. 
Sigwart, Romische Fasten und Annalen bei Diodor (Greisswald, 


Other criticisms on this score, such as that he did 
not know the meaning of bellare cum aliquoj must 
be held in abeyance, so long as the question whetlier 
Diodorus in his account of Roman aifairs used a 
Latin or Greek source (or sources) is stili sub judice. 
And since criticism is beginning to adopt a more 
reasonable attitude toward Diodorus, 2 the better 
course is to trust his word that he could use the 
Latin language; he knew it at least well enough 
for his purposes. 

Diodorus commenced with the mythical period 
and brought his History down to 59 b.c., the year of 
Julius Caesar’s first consulship. Of the forty Books 
only the first five and Books XI-XX are preserved, 
although fragments of the other twenty-five are 
found in different authors, notably in Eusebius and 
Byzantine excerptors. According to his own plan 
(1. 4. 6-7), Books I-VI embraced the period before 
the Trojan War, the first three treating of the history 
of the non-Greeks, the other three, of that of the 
Greeks. The next eleven, Books VII-XVII, were 
designed to form a Universal History from the 
Trojan War to the death of Alexander the Great, 
and the last twenty-three carried the account down 
to the Archonship of Herodes in 60/59 b.c., i.e. to 
include the year 61/60 b.c. 3 As for the years 
covered by his History, he makes no effort to estimate 
those which had elapsed before the Trojan War, 

1 Cp. Budinger, op. cit., p. 122, n. 1. 

a 0. Leuze, Die romische Jahrzdhlung (Tubingen, 1909),gives 
the most recent detailed defence of Diodorus; cp. p. 78, 
n. 107, for the exaggerated detractions by Reuss, Waehsmuth, 
and Schwartz. 

* Cp. Leuze, op. cit., p. 72. 


since for that earlier period there existed no chrono- 
logical table “ that was trustworthy,” 1 but for the 
subsequent period he records that he followed the 
Chronology of Apollodorus of Athens 2 in setting 80 
years between the Trojan War (1184 b.c.) and the 
Retum of the Heracleidae (1104 b.c.), thence 328 
years to the First Olympiad (776/5 b.c.), and from 
the First Olympiad to the beginning of the Celtic 
War (60/59 b.c.), a date which Apollodorus did not 
reach, Diodorus counted 730 years. There can be 
no question about the correctness of these numbers 
of years, 80, 328, 730, because in the next sentence 
he makes the sum of them 1138; and yet 730 years 
after the First Olympiad is 46/5 b.c., just fifteen 
years later than the date at wliich he says his History 
closes. It is impossible to think that his work came 
down to so late a date, since his last book opened 
with the year 70 b.c., the latest fragment mentioning 
the conspiracy of Catiline in 63, and he states 
specifically that his History closed before the year 
60/59 b.c. 3 

The contents of the several Books are briefly: 
Book I: The myths, kings and customs of Egypt. 
Book II: History of Assyria, description of India, 
Scythia, Arabia, and the islands of the Ocean. 

1 In 40. 8 Diodorus says that he had no chronological 
table for this period, and on the basis of that passage from 
an excerptor, Schwartz, B-E\, 5. 665, argues that he could 
not have used the Chronology of Castor; but Beloch, Romiseht 
Oeschichte, p. 122, properly ealls the attention of Schwartz to 

th » S ms^fcroaofogy "spanned the years 1184/3 to at least 
120/19 B.c. , , . 

* For a possible explanation of this discrepancy, cp. below, 
p. xix. 



Book III: Ethiopia, the Amazons of Africa, the 
inhabitants of Atlantis and the origins of the 
first gods. 

Book IV: The principal Greek gods, the Argonauts, 
Theseus, the Seven against Thebes. 

Book V: The islands and peoples of the West, 
Rhodes and Crete. 

Books VI-X: Fragments, from the Trojan War to 
480 b.c. 

Commencing with Book XI the Library of History 

Book XI: Years 480-451 b.c. 

Book XII: Years 450-416 b.c. 

Book XIII: Years 415-405 b.c. 

Book XIV: Years 404-387 b.c. 

Book XV: Years 386-361 b.c. 

Book XVI: Years 360-336 b.c. 

Book XVII: Years 335-324 b.c. 

Book XVIII: Years 323-318 b.c. 

Book XIX: Years 317-311 b.c. 

Book XX: Years 310-302 b.c. 

Books XXI-XL: Fragments, years 301-60 b.c. 

To compose a history of the entire world down to 
his day was “ an immense labour,” as Diodorus says 
(1. 3. 6), looking back upon it, 1 because the material 

1 The Preface was certainly (op. 1. 4. 6) revised after the 
whole work had been completed. Diodorus laments (40. 8) 
that parts of his work had reached the public before his final 
revision and publication as a whole, probably in 49 B.c. (see 
above, p. vii, n. 1). Just how seriously his words axe to be taken 
remains a question. Might they not be a reserved suggestion 
to the reading publio that, in order to get his final account, 
they should purchase the latest revision ? 


for it lay scattered about in so many different authors, 
and because the authors themselves varicd so widely. 
Pcrhaps tliis was his way of telling his readers that 
what they should expect of his history is no more 
than a compilation of what former writers had sct 
down. And the choice of so unusual a titlc, Library 
of History is further evidence that Diodorus made 
no pretence of doing anything more than giving a 
convenient summary of events which were to be 
found in greater detail in many works. The alloca- 
tion of this and that bit of information among the 
various writers whom Diodorus names has occupied 
the attention of many scholars. 2 The earlier view 
was that Diodorus took a single author and copied 
him for many chapters and even Books of his history . 
From that extreme position criticism soon was forced 
to recede, and it is generally held now that wlule 
Diodorus probably leaned very strongly upon a single 
author for one or another section of his work, he 
used at the same time other writers as well. It is 
the feeling of the present translator that there is 
much more of the individuality of Diodorus in his 
Library of History than has been generally supposed, 
and that he picked and chose more widely and more 
wisely than has been allowed him by most critics. 

1 Pliny, Nat. Hist., Preface, 25, praised this straightforward 
title (Apud Graecos desiit nugari Diodorus et BtBKtoOiiw 
historiam suam inscripsit). 

* A convenient summary and rebuttal of some oi tno 
earlier literature is given by L. O. Br6cker Moderne Q u J®en- 
forscher und antike Geschichlschreiber (Innsbruch, 1882), 

PP * Uuily subscribe to the following Words of Jacoby, F. Gr. 
Hist. 2, B D, p. 356 : "... direkte benutzung Theopompos 
bei Diodor ist so wenig wahrscheinlich, wie eine Diodor- 


A brief discussion of the sources used by Diodorus is 
given in the Introductions to the several volumes. 

One mistake of method made it almost impossible 
for Diodorus to write either a readable story or an 
accurate history. So soon as lie entered the period 
which allowed precise dating he became an annalist, 
or, in other words, he endeavoured to present under 
one year the events which toolt place in Greece, 
Sicily, Africa and Italy, to write a synchronistic 
universal history. For a closely related series of 
incidents which covered several years this meant 
that he either had to break the story as many times 
as there were years, or crowd the events of several 
years into one. Moreover, he tried to synchronize 
the Roman consular year, which in his day com- 
menced January lst—and he uses this date even for 
the earlier period—with the Athenian archon year, 
which commenced about the middle of July. It 
should be observed to his credit that Diodorus 
recognized (20. 43. 7) the shortcomings of this 
annalistic arrangement, but he stili felt that the 
recital of events in the order in which they were 
taking place gave a more truthful presentation of 

It may be noted, in connection with this annalistic 
arrangement, that, although Diodorus says in his 
Preface to the First Book that he has brought his 
history down to 60/59 b.c., yet in three other places 

analyse, die satz fur satz Theopompos, eigene zusatze 
des Ephoros und solche aus Xenophon scheidet, reichlioh 
unsioher ist,” and to the conclusion of Holm, Oeschichle 
Sicilient, 2, p. 369, “ dass Diodor nioht bloss mit der Soheere 
gearbeitet hat, sondern anch mit der Feder und mit dem 


(3. 38. 2; 5. 21. 2; 5. 22. 1) he rcmarks that he will 
speak of Britain more in detail when he gives an 
account of the deeds of Gaius Caesar, and that, as 
observed above, in the Chronobgy which he gives of 
his entire work, 1138 years from the Trojan War 
brings his history down to 46/45 b.c. It has been 
suggested by Scliwartz 1 that Diodorus found these 
figures in some Chronology which he had in his hands 
at the time. Such an assumption would indeed 
convict him not only of carelessness, but of plain 
stupidity. It seems more reasonable to suppose 
that, as Diodorus was engaged upon the writing of 
his earlier Books, he fully intended to bring his 
history down to include the year 46/45 b.c., which 
would make an excellent stopping-point. In March 
of 45 b.c. Caesar met and defeated at Munda the 
last army of republicans which stili held the field 
against him. The first period of civil war was at an 
end. However, as Diodorus grew old and perliaps 
a little tired, he gave up his original plan. He 
stopped his account at 60/59 b.c., which year, mark- 
ing the agreement reached by Caesar, Pompey and 
Crassus, was a definite turning-point in the history 
of the Roman Republic. The “ 1138 years ” may 
be explained in two ways. Since some of his Books, 
and presumably the earlier ones, came into the 
hands of the public before his final revision and the 
publication of his History as a whole, Diodorus may 
himself have overlooked the need of correcting that 
number in the final revision. Or tlie earlier figures 
may in some way have slipped from an earlier MS. 
into one of the final revision. 


From scattered observations, whicli bear every 
mark of being from Diodorus himself and not from 
his sources, and from the emphasis upon certain 
phenomena or particular features of history, it is 
possible to get some idea of his views and interests. 
Again and again, and not alone in the Preface to 
the First Book, tlie Stoic doctrine of the utilitas of 
history is stressed, and nowhere does he demand 
that history be entertaining. Of the customs of 
Egypt he \vill mcntion, he telis us, only those which 
are especially strange and those which can be of 
most advantage to his readers (1. 69. 2), of its laws 
only those that can be of help to lovers of reading 
(1. 77. 1). It is obviously to this end that, as he 
States (11. 46. 1), he makes it his practice to increase 
the fame of good men by extolling them and to 
censure evil charactere; the latter he does, for 
instance, at the death of Pausanias ( loc. cit.), and 
the defeat of Leuctra offers an occasion to observe 
what heavy punishments await the proud and unjust, 
while Gelon (11. 38. 6) and Epaminondas (15. 88. 11 
receive the praise which is due to noble men. More 
often than any extant ancient liistorian Diodorus 
stresses the view that history should instruet in the 
good lifc. With great detail (16. 61 ff.) he describes 
the fate which met the various leadere of the 
Phocians, who had dared to lay impious hands upon 
the treasure of Delphi, how the allied cities lost their 
freedom, and even how one woman who had tricked 
hcreelf out with the chain of Helen ended her days 
as a prostitute, while another, who had put on the 
chain of Eriphyle, was burned to death in her horne 
by her own son. Philip, on the other hand, because 
he came to the defence of the Oracle, increased in 


power from that day forth and finally made his 
country the mightiest state in Europe. The great 
earthquakes and inundations in the Peloponnesus of 
373 b.c. were certainly due to the anger of the gods, 
more particularly to that of Poseidon. Admitting 
that the natural philosophers gave another reason, 
yet he thinks that they were wrong, and goes on to 
sliow what it was that angered Poseidon (15. 48). 
He empliasizes the qualities of the spirit, such as 
meekness, gentleness, kindliness, very much in the 
manner of Herodotus; but he thinks very little of 
democracy (1. 74. 7; 13. 95. 1), the natural counter- 
part of such a conviction being a great admiration 
for the strong man in history. 

While characteristics such as these exclude Dio¬ 
dorus from a place among the abler historians of the 
ancicnt world, there is every reason to bclieve that 
he used the best sources and that he reproduced 
them faithfully. His First Book, which deals almost 
exclusively with Egypt, is the fullest literary account 
of the history and customs of that country after 
Herodotus. Books II-V cover a wide range, and 
because of their inclusion of much mythological 
material are of less value. In the period from 480 
to 301 b.c., which he treats in annalistic fashion and 
in which his main source was the Universal History 
of Ephorus, his importance varies according as he is 
the sole continuous source, or again as he is paralleled 
by superior writers. To the fifty years from 480 to 
430 b.c. Thucydides devotes only a little more than 
^ thirty chapters; Diodorus covers it more fully 
(11. 37-12. 38) and his is the only consecuti ve literary 
account for the chronology of the period. On the 
other hand, he is of less importance for the years 


430-362 b.c., since the history of tliis period is 
covered in the contemporary accounts of Thucydides 
and Xenophon. For the years 362-302 b.c. Diodorus 
is again the only consecutive literary account, and 
although the Epitome by Justin of the History of 
Philip by Pompeius Trogus is preserved for the 
earlier period, and the Anabasis of Arrian and The 
History of Alexander the Great by Q. Curtius Rufus, 
more than half of which is extant, for the years 
336-323, Diodorus offers the only chronological sur- 
vey of the period of Philip, and supplements the 
writers mentioned and contemporary sources in many 
matters. For the period of the Successors to 
Alexander, 323-302 b.c. (Books XVIII-XX), he is 
the chief literary authority and his history of this 
period assumes, therefore, an importance which it 
does not possess for the other years. These three 
Books are based mainly upon the work of Hieronymus 
of Cardia, an historian of outstanding ability who 
brought to his account both the experience gained 
in the Service, first of Eumenes, and then of Anti¬ 
gonus, and an exceptional sense of the importance 
of the history of the period. As for Sicily, it has 
well been said that no history of that island could 
be written were it not for Diodorus, and as for 
Roman history, the Fasti of Diodorus are recognized 
in the most recent research to be by far the oldest 
and most trustworthy. 

One merit even those critics who have dealt most 
severely with Diodorus accord him. Long speeches, 
happily used but unhappily introduced by Thucy¬ 
dides, Diodorus avoids, as he promises that he will 
do in the Preface to Book XX. With the exception 
of four instances he eliminates entirely that rhetorical 


device, which must have wearied even a contem¬ 
porary audience. He gave great care to little details 
of writing, and when he errs in fact the fault is not 
so much his as that of his source. A kindly judg- 
ment upon such errore may be found in the words 
of Cicero when he acknowledges that the story was 
generally recognized to be incorrect that Eupolis, 
the poet of Old Comedy, was thrown into the sea 
by Alcibiades, and adds: “ But surely that is no 
reason for sneering at Duris of Samos, who was a 
careful scholar, because he erred in the company of 
many others.” 1 

Editioms and Translations 

The following are the more important editions: 

Poggio Bracciolini: Latin translation of Books 
I-V; published at Bologna, 1472, and many times 
tliereafter at Paris, Venice and Lyons. 

Vincentius Opsopoeus: the first Greek edition, 
containing Books XVI-XX only; Basel, 1539. 

H. Stephanus: Greek edition of Books I-V, XI- 
XX, and some fragments of Books XXI-XL; Geneva, 

L. Rhodoman: the edition of Stephanus with a 
Latin translation, indices and chronological tables; 
Hanau, 1604. 

Petrus Wesseling: the Greek text, and the Latin 
version of Rhodoman, with the critical work of 
former scholare ; 2 vols., Amsterdam, 1746. This is 
the only annotated edition of Diodorus and a monu- 
ment of zeal and scholarship. 

1 Ad Ati. 6. 1. 18 : “ Num idcirco Duris Samius, homo in 
historia diligens, quod cum multis erravit, inridetur f'' 



Bipontine Edition, 11 vols., Zweibriicken and 
Strassburg, 1793-1807. This is the edition of Wes- 
seling, to which were added essays by C. G. Heyne 
and I. N. Eyring. 

H. Eichstadt: the Greek text of Books I-V, 
X-XIV; 2 vols., Halle, 1800-1802. 

L. Dindorf: four cditions of the Greek text: 4 
vols., Leipzig (Weidmann), 1826; 5 vols., withcritical 
apparatus, Leipzig (Hartmann), 1828-31; 2 vols. in 
a Didot edition, the Latin by C. Mulier, Paris, 
1842-4; 5 vols., Leipzig (Teubner), 1866-8. 

I. Bekker: the Greek text; 4 vols., Leipzig 
(Teubner), 1853-4. 

The present text is based upon that of Vogel- 
Fischer, Leipzig (Teubner), 1888 if., and the most 
important variants of the editions of Bekker and 
Dindorf (1866-8) have been noted; the reading 
which follows the colon is, unless otlierwise stated, 
that of the textus receptus. 

Translations of Diodorus have not kept pace with 
the intrinsic intercst of his History. Worthy of 
mention is that into English in two volumes by 
G. Booth, London, 1700; another edition, in a series 
entitled “ Corpus Historicum,” is of London, 1814. 
The English is quaint, archon being sometimes 
rendered “ lord high-cliancellor,” “ high-chancellor,” 
“ chief magistrate ; ’’ the chapter divisions are quite 
arbitrary, and the early date, before the commentary 
of Wesseling, makes it of little value. The trans- 
lation into German by J. F. Wurm, Stuttgart, 
1827—40, is a serious work, and that of A. Wahrmund 
of Books I-X, Stuttgart, 1866-9, with many notes, 
has also been of considerable aid in the preparation 
of this translation. It is hoped that infelicities of 


the present translation will be viewed by scholars 
with some indulgcnce, in consideration of the fact 
that it is the first in English for more than two 
hundred years. 

One feature of the style of Diodorus calls for 
remark. A large part of his earlier Books is in 
indirect discourse, which is introduced witli “ they 
say ” or “ it is said ” or “ history records,” and the 
like, or with the name of the writer he is following. 
Yet at times he inserts into this reported speecli 
sentences of direct discourse which are presumably 
original with himself. In general, an attcmpt has 
been made to distinguish this reported speecli from 
the remarks of Diodorus himself; but I have not 
done so if it involved any great interruption of the 
flow of his narrative. 


A. Codex Coislinianus, of the 15th century. 

B. Codex Mutinensis, of the 15th century. 

C. Codex Vaticanus, of the 12th century. 

D. Codex Vindobonensis 79, of the llth century. 

E. Codex Parisinus, of the 16tli century. 

F. G. Codices Claromontani, of the 16th century. 

M. Codex Venetus, of the 15th century. 

N. Codex Vindobonensis, of the 16tli century. 

The designations of the MSS. are those of the 
Preface to the first volume of the edition of Vogel- 
Fischer, to which the reader is referred for further 
details on each MS. and its worth. In the critical 
notes “ Vulgate ” designates the reading of all MSS. 
except D, and “ II ” designates the reading of all 
MSS. of the “ second class,” i.e. of all but A B D. 


Introduction to Books I—II, 34 

After the Preface to his whole work Diodorus 
describes the origin of animal life, and then, “ since 
Egypt is the country where mythology places the 
origin of the gods ’’ (1. 9. 6), and since “ animal life 
appeared first of all ” (1. 10. 2) in that country, he 
devotes the entire First Book to the gods, kings, 
laws and customs of that land. His interest in 
religion causes him to pay more attention to that 
subject than to political institutions and military 
aifairs, in marked contrast to his later Books. As 
for his literary sources, he is generally lield to have 
drawn primarily upon Hecataeus of Abdera, who 
visited Egypt early in the 3rd century b.c., for his 
account of the customs of the Egyptians, upon 
Agatharchides of Cnidus, an historian and geographer 
of the 2nd century b.c., for his geographical data, 
and especially for the description of the Nile (cc. 32- 
41. 3), and upon Herodotus. He also mentions what 
is told by the priests of Egypt and natives of Ethiopia, 
and it is entirely possible that many a detail was 
picked up by personal observation and inquiry. By 
the time of his visit Greek had been the official 
language of the land for nearly three hundred years 
and was widely used in the better circles, and hence 
he was not in such danger of being imposed upon by 
guides and priests as was Herodotus. 

In the opening chapters of the Second Book 
Diodorus moves to Asia and Assyrian affairs. Most 
of his material was drawn from Ctesias of Cnidus, 
who spent seventeen years as physician at the court 
of the Persian king, Artaxerxes Mnemon, retuming 
to Greece some time after 390 b.c. Ctesias wrote a 


Persica in twenty-three Books, the first six of which 
dealt with Assyrian and Median history. Whether 
Diodorus used Ctesias directly or through a medium 
is stili a question. 1 He also used' Cleitarchus and 
“ certain of those who at a later time crossed into 
Asia with Alexander ’’ (2. 7. 3). Incidentally, he 
quotes from a particular Athenaeus, otherwise 
unknown, and “ certain other historians ” (2. 20. 3) 
to the effect that Semiramis was nothing more than 
a beautiful courtesan. While there is some shadowy 
outline of the long history of Egypt in Book I, what 
Diodorus (or rather Ctesias, Cleitarchus and others) 
has to offer on Babylonian history is scarcely deserv- 
ing of the name. It is astonishing to observe that a 
writer with the opportunities which Ctesias enjoyed 
should have been content to do little more than pass 
on the folk tales which constitute the “ history ’’ of 
the Assyrian Empire. 

Into the daily widening field of the history of 
Egypt and Babylonia, which is the theme of this 
volume of Diodorus, and in which many dates change 
from year to year and many are stili the subject of 
controversy among competent Orientalists, a classi- 
cist enters with extreme reluctance. It has seemed 
the bette^ policy to draw upon the latest general 
survey of this period, The Cambridge Ancient History, 
for the chronology, recognizing at the same time 
that even the contributors to this single enterprise 
are not always in agreement. 

1 Cp. P. Schnabel, Btrossos und die babylonisch-heilenistitche 
Literatur (Leipzig, 1923), p. 34. 





Td8e eveonv ev rrj irpdny twv 
A io&cbpov ftifiAwv 

IIpooi/uov rrjs o\r]<; Trpaypartias. 

IIepi tu>v irap A iy iottioi? \cyo/icva>v trtpl ttJs tov 
<6<rp.ov ycvco-cios. 

IIepi Toiv Oewv ocroi 7ro\cis CKTicrav KOLT Alyvmov. 

IIepi toiv 7rp(urwv yevopeviov dv#pa)7ra>v «ai tov iraXato- 
totov /3iov. 

IIcpl t?}s Toiv aSavaruiv Tiprjs Kal rfj s toiv vadiv Kara- 

Ilepi tj;s Toiro$fcr(as T?}s Kar’ kiyvrrTov \atpas Kal ra>v 
Trtpl tov Nc?\ov Troro.pov 7rapa8o£o\oyov/ievii)v, TIJS TC 
tovtov Tr\rjpu><Tt<a<i Ta? aiTias 1 Kal TOIV ItTTOpLKMV Kal 
<f>i\o<r6<f><ov airorf>a<rtis. 

IIcpl Toiv TTpa>Toiv yevo/icviov Kar’ klyvrrrov /? 
Kal tSv KaTa pepo? avTaiv 7rpa£ca>v. 

IIcpl KaTao-KCviiiv Toiv 7rvpapiSo)v Toiv avaypa<f>op.tva>v 
cv toi? ciTTa #av/xa£opcvoi? cpyois. 

IIcpl Toiv vo/iiov Kal Toiv SiKatTTrjpluv. 

IIcpl Toiv atfutpioptvaiv £<i)u)v jrap’ Aiyvimois. 

IIepi TO)V V0p.ip.MV Toiv 7TCpl TOV? TCTcAcvTTJltOTaS 7Tap 
AiyvTmoi? ycvopcvoiv. 

IIepi Toiv 'EXXtjvoiv OO-OI Toiv cVi waiScia Oavpa^nptvmv 
TrapaySaXdvTC? cis AiywTov Kal voA\a Toiv xp-yaip-u» 
paSovrts pCTTjvcyh-av cis T^v ‘EWaSa. 

1 Some verb is needed here, Buch as Trepicxei, whioh is 
found in ohap. 42, from which most of this outline is 


Introduction to the entire work (chaps. 1-5). 

On the accounts given by the Egyptians about the 
origin of the universe (chaps. 6-7). 

On the gods who founded cities in Egypt. 1 

On the first men and the earliest manner of life 
(chap. 8). 

On the honour paid to the immortals and the 
building of the temples to them. 1 

On the topography of the land of Egypt and the 
marvels related about the river Nile ; the causes also 
of its flooding and the opinions thereupon of the 
historians and the philosophers (chaps. 30 ff.). 

On the first kings of Egypt and their individual 
deeds (chaps. 44 ff.). 

On the construction of the pyramids which are 
listed among the seven wonders of the world (chaps. 
63 ff.). 

On the laws and the courts of law (chaps. 69 ff.). 

On the animals hcld sacred among the Egyptians 
(chaps. 83 ff.). 

On the customs of the Egyptians touching the 
dead (chaps. 91 ff.). 

On those Greeks, renowned for their learning, who 
visited Egypt and upon acquiring much useful know- 
ledge brought it to Greece (chaps. 96 ff.). 

1 There are no chapters whioh are especially devoted to 
this topic. 





1. Tot? Tfl? xoivd? laro pia? Tspayp.aTevaap.evoi? 
peydXa? X‘*P L Ta? dirovepeiv Elxaiov iravTa? av- 
Opdyirov?, ori tol ? ISloi? irovoi? , a xpeXrjaai tov 
koivov j3lov e<piXoTipijdr)oav dxlvEvvov yap St- 
EaaxaXlav tov avp<pepovTO? ela^yrjadpevoi xaX- 
Xl<jTt]v ipireiplav Eia, tjj? TspaypaTeia?^ TavTij? 

2 Ttepivoiovai tol? dvayivdaxovaiv. 17 pev yap ex 
T r )? irelpa? exdaTOV pdidrjai? peja toXXwv ttovwv 

/cal Kivhvvtov itotel tq)p j(p7](7LfXQ)v e/cacrra Sta- 
yivtbaxeiv, xal Eia tovto twv -ppdoiv 6 iroXvTseipo- 
TaTO? peTa peyaXcov aTVXVpdTiov 

ttoXXmv dv9pcoTTcov iSev dtnea xal voov eyvco’ 

■f) Se Sta t i)? laTopla? irepiyivopevr) avveai? tS>v 
dXXoTplav diroTevypdTMV Te xal xaTOpdwpaTWv 

3 direlpaTov xaxmv ex 61 T V V StS aaxaXiav. ^ eireiTa 
, rdvTa? dvOpdyirov?, peTexovra<; pev t fi? xpos 

1 Here Diodorus markedly connecta “ universal ” (««■'«l) 

history with human sooiety “as a whole” {xotris). Cp. the 
Introduotion, pp. xif. . , „ 

» Odysseus. The quotation is from the Odyssey 1. 3. 





1. It is fitting that all men should ever accord 
great gratitude to those writers who have composed 
universal 1 histories, since they have aspired to help 
by their individual labours human society as a whole ; 
for by offering a schooling, which entails no danger, 
in what is advantageous they provide their readers, 
through such a presentation of events, with a most 
excellent kind of experience. For although the 
learning which is acquired by experience in each 
separate case, with all the attendant toils and 
dangers, does indeed enable a man to discern in 
each instance where utility lies—and this is the 
reason why the most widely experienced of our 
heroes 2 suffered great misfortunes before he 

Of many men the cities saw and learned 
Their thoughts;— 

yet the understanding of the failures and successes 
of other men, which is acquired by the study of 
history, affords a schooling that is free from actual 
experience of ilis. Furthermore, it has been the 
aspiration of these writers to marshal all men, who, 


aWqXovs avyyeveias, rorrots Be /cal xpovois 
Bieorrj/coras, e(fnXoripri0-i)crav viro ptav /cal tt)v 
avrr/v avvra^iv ayayelv, coairep rives vrrovpyol 
rrjs Gelas rrpovolas yevr)6evres. e/celvi) re yap 
rrjv r&v opcopevcov aarpcov Bia/coap/paiv /cal ras 
r&v dvGp&rrcov <f>vaeis eis /cotvrjv avaXoylav avv- 

em/3dXXov e/cdarois e/c rfjs rrerrpcopevrjs fiepl- 
£ouaa, oi re r as /coivas rrjs ol/covpevr]s rrpdgeis 
/caGdrrep pias rro\ea>s dvaypd\fravres eva Xoyov 
/cal /coivov Xpr)p.arurTijpi°v r&v avvrereXeapevcov 

4 arreBei^av rds eavr&v rrpayparelas. /caXov yap 

rb BvvaaGai rols r&v aXXarv dyvorjpaai rrpos 
BiopGcoaiv xpfjoGai rrapaBeiypaat, /cai rrpos ra 
avytcvpovvra rroi/clXws /cara rov filov e%eiv pr/ 
^rjrrjatv r&v rr parropevcov, aXXa plpr/aiv r&v 
emrerevypeva/v. /ca't yap rovs rrpeafivrdrovs 

rais 17 Xi/clais arravres r&v veoorepcov irpo/cpivovcriv 
ev r ais crvp{3ovXtats Bia rrjv e/c rov xpbvov rrepi- 
yeyevrjpevijv avrols eprreiplav rjs roaovrov vrrep- 
eyeiv ov pftej3r]/ce rrjv e/c rrjs laroplas pdGrjaiv 
oo-ov /cal r& rrXtjGet r&v rrpayparcov rrporepovaav 
avrrjv erreyv&zcapev. Bio /cal rrpos drrdaas r as 
rov filov rrepiardaeis XprjoificDTdTriv dv ris elvai 

5 vopiaeie rrjv ravrrjs dvaXp^nv. rols pev yap 
vecorepois rrjv r&v yeyrjpa/corcov rrepirroiet avv- 
eaiv, rols Be rrpea/3vrepois rroXXarrXaaidt^ei rrjv 
vrrdpxovaav eprreiplav, /cal rovs pev IB icor as 

1 The referenee is to the Stoio dootrine of the universal 
kinship of mankind. 


BOOK I. 1 . 3-s 

although United one to another by their kinship, 1 
are yet separated by space and time, into one and 
the same orderly body. And such historians have 
therein shown themselves to be, as it were, ministers 
of Divine Providence. For just as Providence, hav- 
ing brought the orderly arrangcment of the visible 
stars and the natures of men together into one 
common relationship, continually directs their courses 
through all eternity, apportioning to each that which 
falis to it by the direction of fate, so likewise the 
historians, in recording the common affairs of the 
inhabited world as though they were those of a 
single state, have made of their treatises a single 
reckoning of past events and a common clearing- 
house of knowledge concerning them. For it is an 
excellent thing to be able to use the ignorant mis- 
takes of others as warning examples for the correc- 
tion of error, and, when we confront the varied 
vicissitudes of life, instead of having to investigate 
what is being done now, to be able to imitate the 
successes which have been achieved in the past. 
Certainly all men prefer in their counsels the oldest 
men to those who are younger, because of the 
experience which has accrued to the former through 
the lapse of time ; but it is a fact that such experience 
is in so far surpassed by the understanding which is 
gained from history, as history excels, we know, in 
the multitude of facts at its disposal. For this reason 
one may hold that the acquisition of a knowledge of 
history is of the greatest utility for every conceivable 
circumstance of life. For it endows the young with 
the wisdom of the aged, while for the old it multiplies 
the experience which they already possess; citizens 
in private station it qualifies for leadersliip, and the 


aglov $ fjyepovlas Karaa/ceva^ei, tou? S’ f}yep.ova$ 
to> Sia tt}<; So^r]<; aOavaTiapS) irporperrerai tok 
« aXXtcTTOt? twv 6/370)1» iirixeipelv, %o)/)t? Se toj 5 - 
T 0 )J» tou? pen aTpaTMOTas t ow peTa ttjv reXevTTjv 
eiralvois eroiporepov ? KaraaKeva^ei irpos tovs 
irrrep tt)? -narplSos kivSvvovs, tovv Se Trovr)pov<; 
tS>v av 9 pwmov Tai? aieo vloiv ft\ a<r<f>ij{iiai? airo- 
rperrei t rjs em tt)v xaxiav opfirj?.^ 

2. KafloXou Se Std tjji» e’/c t avrrjs eV ayaOtp 
pvrjprjv ol pev KTiarai iroXetov yeveaOai^ irpoe- 
K\rfir\aav, ol SI vop.ov<; eiatjyrfaaadai irepieXpvTa% 
to3 koivS> @lq> rrjv da<f>dXeiav, iroXXoi S' imart]- 
fias Kal Texi '«? e^evpelv e^iXoTip.^Orjaav 1 rpo? 
evepyealav tov yevovs r&v dvdpwmov. airav- 
Ttov Se avptrXr]povpevri<; ttjs evSaipovlas, airo- 
Soreov r5>v eiralviov t o irpmeiov rj) tovtcdv 

2 pdXiar' atria, laropiq. r\yryreov ydp elvai Tau- 
ttjv <f>vXaxa pev Tr)? t5>v atjioXoycDV ape t^?, 
paprvpa Se rfjs ridv <j>avXa>v tea/clas, evepyeriv 
Se tov koivov yevov<; twv av6pcomov. et ydp 
r) t5>v ev aSov pvdoXoyla rrjv viroOeaiv ireTrXaa- 
pevrjv ex°vaa TroXXa avp.(3dXXejal toI? av6pa>- 
ttois 7rpo? ei>ae/3eiav Kal SiKaioavvqv, iroacp 
paXXov 3 VTToXrjTneov rrjv irpo^fjTiv t rj$ dXrjdeias 
laroplav, rrjv oXt)<; (f>iXoao(j)ia<; oiovei prjrporroXiv 
ovaav, emaxevaaai SvvaaOai t a f/Ot] paXXov 

3 tt/bo? KaXoKayadlav ; 7rai»Te? 7ap dvOpmiroi Sia 

1 n*Khov Bekker, Vogel: omitted CF, Dindorf. 

1 The Greek ‘‘ metropolis,’ ’ the “ home oountry ” or “ mother- 
oity ” of all the colonies whieh it had sent forth, was venerated 

by them as the smirce of their raee and of their institutions. 

For the striking figure cp. the passage in Athenaeus 104 B, 

BOOK I. 1. 5-2. 3 

leaders it incites, through the immortality of the 
glory whieh it confers, to undertake the noblest 
deeds; soldiers, again, it makes more ready to face 
dangers in defence of their country because of the 
public encomiums whieh they will receive after death, 
and wicked men it turns aside from their impulse 
towards evil through the everlasting opprobrium to 
whieh it will condemn them. 

2. In general, then, it is because of tliat com- 
memoration of goodly deeds whieh history accords 
men that some of them have been induced to become 
the founders of cities, that others have been led to 
introduce laws whieh encompass man s social life 
with security, and that many have aspired to discover 
new Sciences and arts in order to benefit the raee of 
men. And since complete happiness can be attained 
only through the combination of all these activities, 
the foremost meed of praise must be awarded to that 
whieh more than any other thing is the cause of 
them, that is, to history. For we must look upon it 
as constituting the guardian of the high achieve- 
ments of illustrious men, the witness whieh testifies 
to the evil deeds of the wicked, and the benefactor 
of the entire human raee. For if it be true that the 
myths whieh are related about Hades, in spite of 
the fact that their subject-matter is fictitious, con¬ 
tribute greatly to fostering piety and justice among 
men, how much more must we assume that history, 
the prophetess of truth, she who is, as it were, the 
mother-city 1 * of philosophy as a whole, is stili more 
potent to equip men’s characters for noble living! 
For all men, by reason of the frailty of our nature, 
where Chrysippus calls the Qaslrdegy of Archestratus a 
“ metropolis ” of the philosophy of Epicurus. 



t r)V Trjs <pu<rea><; dadeveiav jHiovcn pev atcapiaiov 
ti pepos tov iravTOt aia>vo<s, TeTeXevT^icaai Se 
TrdvTa tov varepov xpovov, ical rot? pev ev tgi 
tpjv pi)Sev dgioXoyov irpdgaeriv apa tcus twv 
ucopaTeov Te\evTai<s avvairodvrjaicei ical Ta aXXa 
irdvTa Ta nara tov fiiov, toi<s Se Si apeTijv 
irepiironjaaphiOK So^av ai irpd%ei<; airayTa tov 
aicova pvrjpo vevovTat, Siajdowpevai tw deioT&Ttp 
T7/s i<nopLa<i aropaTt. 

4 KaXor S\ otpai, tok ev ippovovai dvrjrebv 

irovcov dvTtKaTaXka^aadai ttjv aOavaTOV ev<f>rj- 
piav. 'H paK\i}<s pev yap opoXoyeiTai irdvTa 

tov 7 evopevov avTW kolt avd pwirovs 'xpovov 
viropeivai peydXovs ical avveyel<s ttovov? ical kiv- 
Svvov? eKovo’io)<s, iva t o 7 ero? t5>v dvd pwircov 
evep^eTqaat tv%tj t rj<; ddavaerta<s‘ twv Se aXXwv 
dyaOwv avSpwv oi pev rjpwacwv, oi Se laoOewv 
Tipwv eTV%ov, irdvTe<i Se peydXtov eiraivwv 
rigidOrjaav, ra? a.pera? avTwv t ?)<s itnopias 

5 airaOavaTi%ovcri\<;. Ta pev 7 dp aXXa pvrjpela 
Siapevet j^povov oXiyov, viro iroXXwv avaipovpeva 
irepiaTaaewv, 17 Se Trj<s i(TTopia<s Svvapts eirl 
iraaav TrjV ohcovpevrjv Sirjtcovaa tov iravTa 
TaXXa Xvpaivopevov %/>oror e%et <f>vXa/ea Trfi 
aiwvlov TrapaS 6 aea><; TOt<s emyivopevoi<;. 

%vpfidXXeTai S’ av T17 ical irpex; Xoyov Svvapiv, 
ov tcaXXiov eTepov ovte av rt? paSiw<; evpot. 

6 Toxnep yap oi pev "EWi/re? twv ftapftapwv, 01 
Se ireiraiSevpevoi twv airaiSevrwv irpoe^ovai, 
7T/309 Se tovtok; Sia povov tovtov SvvaTov eoTiv 


BOOK I. 2. 3-6 

live but an infinitesimal portion of eternity and are 
dead throughout all subsequent time; and while in 
the case of those who in their lifetime have done 
nothing worthy of note, everything which has per- 
tained to them in life also perishes when their bodies 
die, yet in the case of those who by their virtue have 
achieved fame, their deeds are remembered for 
evermore, since they are heralded abroad by history’s 
voice most divine. 

Now it is an excellent thing, methinks, as all men 
of understanding must agree, to receive in exchange 
for mortal labours an immortal fame. In the case 
of Heracles, for instance, it is generally agreed that 
during the whole time which he spent among men he 
submitted to great and continuous labours and perils 
willingly, in order that he might confer benefits 
upon the race of men and thereby gain immortality; 
and likewise in the case of other great and good men, 
some have attained to heroic honours and others to 
honours equal to the divine, and all have been thought 
to be worthy of great praise, since history immor- 
talizes their achievements. For whereas all other 
memorials abide but a brief time, being continually 
destroyed by many vicissitudes, yet the power of 
history, which extends over the whole inhabited 
World, possesses in time, which brings ruin upon all 
things else, a custodian which ensures its perpetual 
transmission to posterity. 

History also contributes to the power of speech, 
and a nobler thing than that may not easily be 
found. For it is this that makes the Greeks superior 
to the barbarians, and the educated to the unedu- 
cated, and, furthermore, it is by means of speech 
alone that one man is able to gain ascendancy over 


%va tS>v iroXXmv irepiyeveodai' /cadoXov 8^ 
<j>aiveTCU irav to irpoTedev tolovtov ottolov av 
f) rov XeyovTOt hvvap.Lt irapaairjar), tca\, rovt 
dyaOovt avSpat atjlovt Xoyov irpoaayopevopev, 
(U? tovto TO irpamelov t rjt aperit irepnreiroirj- 

7 pevovt. elt irXeiw Si peprj tovtov SiypTjpevov, 
avpfialvei t rjv pev iroirjTUcrjv repireiv paXXov 
fjirep dxpeXeiv, rrjv Se vopoOeaiav /eoXd^eiv, ov 
SiSacr/ceiv, irapairXrjaitat Se /ca'i TaXXa peprj id 
pev prjhev o-vpftdXXecrOai irpot evSaipoidav, jh 
Se pepiypevrjv exeiv t5> avp^epovTi ttjv fiXdftrjv, 
evia Se /eare^evadai t rjt dXr]6eiat,pbvrjV Sejrjv 
laropiav, avp<f>a>vovv toov ev ainfj t&v Xoyaiv 
T olt epyoit, diravia TaXXa xprjiripa t rj yparpfj 

8 irepieLXrj^evai- 6pd<r0ai yap amrjv irpoipeiro- 

pevrjv eirl Sucaioovvrjv, Kairjyopovaav twv, <f>av- 
Xa>v, ey/ccopid^ovcrav t ovt ayadovt, to crvvoXov 
epireiplav peylmrjv irepiiroiovaav t olt evivyxd- 
vovai. t f I 

3. A to /cal OempovvTet fjpelt Si/caiat diroSoxys 
TvyxdvovTat Toiit TavTtjv irpaypaieva a pevovt 
■7rpoTjx@ r lf iev e ’ 7r ‘ T0V dpoiov t rjt virodetremt %rjXov. 
emfTTrjo-avTet Se tov vovv t olt irpo jp&v crvy- 
ypaipevaiv aireSe^dpeda ped d)t evL paXuTTCi Trjv 
irpoalpecnv avrcov, ov prjv e^eipyatrdai irpot to 
crvpefrepov /cara 1 to Svvutov t at irpaypaieiat 

2 avTOtv vireXdfUopev. /ceipevrjt yap t olt ava- 
yivdxr/covcn t rjt axpeXeiat ev tS> irXeiaTat xai 
iroi/ciXcoTaTat irepicndaeit Xapftdveiv, oi irXeltTTOi 
pev evot 2 edvovt rj piat iroXeoot avTOTeXelt 
iroXepovt aveypaifrav, oXiyoi S airo twv apxauov 
1 (tarik Stephanus: *ol. * Mi added by Porson. 


BOOK I. 2. 6-3. 2 

the many; and, in general, the impression made by 
every measure that is proposed corresponds to the 
power of the speaker who presents it, and we describe 
great and good men as “ worthy of speech,” 1 as 
though therein they had won the highest prize of 
excellence. And when speech is resolved into its 
several kinds, we find that, whereas poetry is more 
pleasing than profitable, and codes of law punish 
but do not instruet, and similarly, all the other kinds 
either contribute nothing to happiness or else 
contain a harmful element mingled with the bene- 
ficial, while some of them actually pervert the truth, 
history alone, since in it word and fact are in perfect 
agreement, embraces in its narration all the other 
qualities as well that are useful; for it is ever to be 
seen urging men to justice, denouncing those who 
are evil, lauding the good, laying up, in a word, for 
its readers a mighty store of experience. 

3. Consequently we, observing that writers of 
history are accorded a merited approbation, were led 
to feel a like enthusiasm for the subject. But when 
we tumed our attention to the historians before our 
time, although we approved their purpose without 
reservation, yet we were far from feeling that their 
treatises had been composed so as to contribute to 
human welfare as much as might have been the case. 
For although the profit which history affords its 
readers lies in its embracing a vast number and 
variety of circumstances, yet most writers have 
recorded no more than isolated wars waged by a single 
nation or a single state, and but few have undertaken, 
beginning with the earliest times and coming down 

1 i.e. worthy to be the subject of speech. ipi\oyoriB a 
favourite word of Diodorus in the usual meaning of dis- 
tinguished,” “ notable.” 



Xpovtov ap^dfievoi rds KOivds Trpd^eis eire)(etpr]- 
<tclv avaypd<f>eip fie%pi to>v xad avrovs tccupcov, 
Kal TOVTQiv oi pev t ov<s oiKeiovs xpovovs e/ca- 
arois oi irape£ev%ap, oi Se t as ra>v fiapfiapwv 
Tpageis vtt epe/3r)<rav, eri S’ oi pev t as it aXaias 
puvOoXoyia'i SicL tt)p Sva^epeiav Trjs it paypareias 
CLTTeSoKipaaav, oi Se ttjp iirdaiaaiv t r\s eirifioXfjs 
oi avvereKeaav, pieaoXaftrjOePTes top fiiov iiro 

3 Trjs ireiTpa>pevri<s. t5>v Se rr/v emfioXrjP t avTijs 

Trjs Trpaypareias ireTroirjpevajv oiSels irpoeftiftaae 
ttjv iaropiav KarcoTipto tSsp McuceSovucaiv Kaipwpp 
oi pjev yap eis Tas <t>i\ivnov tt paleis, oi S' eis 
t as ' AXe^avSpov, t ives S' eis t ois SiaSo^ous rj 
t ois emyovovs Karearperfrap t cls auvTageis’ 

ttoXXmp Se xal peyaXaip t S»v puera ravra 
trpd^ecov airoXeXeipupuevcov pueXP 1 T0 ^ f Ka @ Vf^d-S 
ftiov tS>v l<TTopioypd<f)C0V oiSels eire^aXero airds 
puds avvrd^ews Trepiypa<f)f) tt payparevaaaQai Sua 

4 t o pAyeBos t rjs inoOeaecos. Sio Kal Sieppipi- 

pueva>v 1 tSsv re xpoviop Kal tmp irpagecov ev 

nXeioai irpaypaTeiais Kal Sia<f>opois crvyypa- 
<\>ei><ri SvairepiXijvTOS rj tovtcop dvaXrjyjns yi- 
verai Kal SvapuvqpiovevTOs. 

5 'E^erdaavTes oiv t as eKaarov tovtcop Sia- 

deaeis eKpivapev ImoQeaiv iaropiKrjP npaypaTev- 
cracrdai rr)v rrXeicJTa pcev dnfieXfjaai Svpapieprjp, 

1 Suppipipivav Hertlein and Bezzel: ippiuplvav. 

1 Of the writers who may be said to ha ve composed universal 
histones, Diodorus may have had in mind Heroidotus, who had 
no chronological system, Anaximenes of Lampsacus, who 

eonfined his Hdlenica, as the title shows, to the Greeks, and 
Ephorus of Cyme, who omitted the mythological period and 


BOOK I. 3. 2-5 

to their own day, to record the events connected 
with all peoples; and of the latter, some have not 
attached to the several events their own proper dates, 
and others have passed over the deeds of barbarian 
peoples; and some, again, have rejected the ancient 
legends because of the difficulties involved in their 
treatment, while others have failed to complete the 
plan to which they had set their hand, their lives 
having been cut short by fate. 1 And of those who 
have undertaken this account of all peoples not one 
has continued his history beyond the Macedonian 
period. For while some have closed their accounts 
with the deeds of Philip, others with those of 
Alexander, and some with the Diadochi or the 
Epigoni, 2 yet, despite the number and importance 
of the events subsequent to these and extending 
even to our own lifetime which have been left 
neglected, no historian has essayed to treat of them 
within the compass of a single narrative, because of 
the magnitude of the undertaking. For this reason, 
since both the dates of the events and the events 
themselves lie scattered about in numerous treatises 
and in divers authors, the knowledge of them 
becomes difficult for the mind to encompass and for 
the memory to retain. 

Consequently, after we had examined the com- 
position of each of these authors’ works, we resolved 
to write a history after a plan which might yield to 

whose death brpught his history to a close with the year 
340 b.c., although he had witnessed the stirring events of the 
subsequent twenty years. 

* The Diadochi, or Successore, were those rulers who shortly 
after 323 B.c. formed separate kingdoms out of the territory 
conquered by Alexander. The Epigoni were the next and 
succeeding genera tions. 



iXdx^ra 8e toi>? avayivedaicovTa<; evox^-vaov- 

6 trav. el ydp ti? tot et? p,vrjp.r)v napaSeSop.eva'; 
tov avfnravTO<i nbapov irpa^eis, orairep Tiro? 
/tta? 7ro\ew?, dp%dp.evo<i diro tSsv apXa^oTarav 
Xpbvtav dvaypdifrat, /cara ro Svvarbv pepn tcov 
KaO' avrov icaip&v, nrbvov /J-ev av tto\vv vtto- 
peivai 8r)\ov oti, irpaypaTetav Se iraawv evxpv 
crTOTaTrjv awrd^ano toZ? (juXavayvcocTTOvaiv. 

7 e^ecrrai ydp en tuv tj?? enaarrov 7rpo? t rjv iSxav 
vTroiTTacnv €Tot/x&)? Xafifidveiv to XPV^ L P 01 f’ 

8 tbcnrep iic peyd\i]<; apvopevov irrjyij*;. TOt?per 
<yap em/3a\\op.evoi<; Siefiemi tot Twr toctovtotv 
avyypcHpecov itnopiai irpS>rov p.ev ov paSiov 
exnropTjo-cu tuv ei? ttjv %peia * irvrrrova&v 

j,3\(OV , €TT€LTa SlOL TT)V OVdiflcCKldV /CCU TO Tr\l)0o? 
tS>v avvTaypdruv 8vcncaTdXT]TrTO<; ytveTai TeXew? 
«at Svaej>ucTO<i fj ruv ireTrpaypevuv avaXrytyir 
Tj 8’ ev pia? 1 crwTa^eoj? ireptypa^fj irpaypcneia 
to TiSr irpagewv elpopevov ex ova ’ a ttjv p.ev 
avayvoxnv erotp-Tjv 7rape'%eTat, ttjv 8’ dvaXrj\[nv 
ex ei TravTeXm<; evTrapcucoXovdrjTov . , /caOoXov 8e 
T S)V dXXcov Toffomov virepexeiv ravrpv rjyijTeov 
oxj-tp xP 7 l aL l J ‘ ( * ,Te P° v * aTl r ° 7r ® 1 ' T0 ® P' e P 0V J KaL T ” 
o-we^e? toO Siepprjypevov, 7rpo? 8e toutoi? to 
SLrjKpifia>p.evov Tot? XP° V0L ^ To5 yivcotTKO- 

pevov TLcnv eirpax^t] tcaupovi. , y ■ „ 

4. Ato7rep 17/xeZ? opwrTe? tclvttjv ttjv vnodeaiv 
XpvcrxpuTaTTjv p,ev ovcrav, 7 toXXov 8e 1 tovov ko,l 
X povov 7 rpoaSeopevTjv, rpidicovTa pev ejTj 7repi 
avTijv eTrpayp.aTevdrjp.ev, /teTa 8e ttoWt}? /caico- 

udis Sehafer: jui$. 

BOOK I. 3. 5-4. 1 

its readers the greatest benefit and at the same 
time incommode them the least. For if a man 
should begin with the most ancient times and record 
to the best of his ability the affairs of the entire 
world down to his own day, so far as they have been 
handed down to memory, as though they were the 
affairs of some single city, he would obviously have 
to undertake an immense labour, yet he would have 
composed a treatise of the utmost value to those 
who are studiously inclined. For from such a 
treatise every man will be able readily to take what 
is of use for his special purpose, drawing as it were 
from a great fountain. The reason for this is that, 
in the first place, it is not easy for those who propose 
to go through the writings of so many liistorians to 
procure the books which come to be needed, and, in 
the second place, that, because the works vary so 
widely and are so numerous, the recovery of past 
events becomes extremely difficult of comprehension 
and of attainment; whereas, on the other hand, 
the treatise which keeps within the limits of a single 
narrati ve and contains a connected account of events 
facilitates the reading and contains such recovery of 
the past in a form that is perfectly easy to follow. 
In general, a history of this nature must be held to 
surpass all othcrs to the same degree as the whole 
is more useful than the part and continuity than dis- 
continuity, and, again, as an event whose date has 
been accurately determined is more useful than one 
of which it is not known in what period it happened. 

4. And so we, appreciating that an undertaking 
of this nature, while most useful, would yet require 
much labour and time, have been engaged upon it 
for thirty years, and with much hardship and many 


7 raOeias Kal kivSvvwv emjXdopev ttoXXtjv t fji re 
'Aalas Kal Ttjs EvpwTrrjs, iva twv dvayKaioTaTwv 
Kal irXelaTWv pepwv axiTomai yevrjOwpevy 
ttoXXci yh,p irapa to? ay volas twv tottwv Sirj-^ 
papTov ov% ol TVYovTes twv avyypatfiewv, aXXa 

2 Tives Kal TWV tt? Sogr) TTeirpwTevKOTWv. a<f>oppfj 
Se rrpbs Trjv ‘ eirifioXrjv Tainrjv JxpycrapeOa 
pdXioTa pev Trj irpos t rjv rrpayparelav emdvpla, 
Si fjv rracnv dvdpwrrois t o Sokovv arropov^ eiyat 
Tvyx^vei <tvvt eXelas, eireiTa Kal Trj iy P wprj 
Xoprjyla 1 twv irpos Trjv vTTOKeipevrjv viroBeaiy 

3 avrjKovTWV. rj yap t avrrjs t rjs rroXews birepoxy, 
SiaTelvovaa Trj Svvapei irpos ra ire par a Trjs 
oiKOvpevijs, eroiporaTas Kal irXeloTas VH** 
d<f>oppas irapeax eT0 TraperriSrjprjcraotv ev avTjj 

4 7 rXelw XP° V0V - VP& ydp 'Ayvplov^ tijs 
'S. iKeXlas bvTeSi Kal Sia Trjv eiripiljiav, tois ev 
Trj vrjaw iroXXrjv epiretplav Trjs Pwpaiwv Sia- 
XeKTOV irepiireiroirjpevoi, iraoas jas Trjs rjye- 
povlas TavTrjs irpd^eis aKptfiws aveXaftopev eK 
twv rrap' exeivois VTrop.vrjp.aTwv ex iroXXwv 

5 XP° V0>V tct rjprjpevwv. ireiroirjpeda Se Trjv apxvy 

t rjs loToplas atro twv pvdoXoyovpevwv irap, 
"EXXrjal Te Kal fiapftdpois, egeTatrav re?, t a rrap 
UdoTois ioTopovpeva /cara tovs apxaiovs XP°' 
vovs, e<f>' ocrov rjpiv SvvapiS- , 

6 ’E7re! S’ rj pev virodeais ex et Te ^- 0? > at ft l @X°i 
Se pexpi tov vvv avexSoTOi t vyxdvovcriv ovaai, 

1 T 5 . . . X°PV7 l ? Hertlein: «ict rbr . . . x°P r n < - av - 

i On the travels undertaken by Diodorus in preparation for 

tho writing of his history, see the Introduotion, p. xiii. 

BOOK I. 4. i-6 

dangers we have visited a large portion of both 
Asia and Europe that we might see with our own 
eyes all the most important regions 1 and as many 
others as possible; for many errors have been com- 
mitted through ignorance of the sites, not only by 
the common run of historians, but even by some of 
the highest reputation. As for the resources which 
have availed us in this undertaking, they have been, 
first and foremost, that enthusiasm for the work 
which enables every man to bring to completion the 
task which seems impossible, and, in the second place, 
the abundant supply which Rome affords of the 
materials pertaining to the proposed study. For 
the supremacy of this city, a supremacy so powerful 
that it extends to the bounds of the inhabited 
world, has provided us in the course of our long 
residence there with copious resources in the most 
accessible form. For since the city of our origin 
was Agyrium in Sicily, and by reason of our contact 
with the Romans in that island we had gained a 
wide acquaintance with their language, 2 we have 
acquired an accurate knowledge of all the events 
connected with this empire from the records which 
have been carefully preserved among them over a 
long period of time. Now we have begun our 
history with the legends of both Greeks and bar- 
barians, after having first investigated to the best 
of our ability the accounts which each people records 
of its earliest times. 

Since my undertaking is now completed, although 
the volumes are as yet unpublished, I wish to pre- 

* Theprevailing language in Sicily in this period was Greek. 
On the acquaintance of Diodorus with Latin sce the Intro- 
duction, pp. xiiif. 



fiovXopai fipaxea irpoSiopioai irepl oXr]? tt}? 
irpaypaieia?. t&v yap fii/3Xa>v r\piv eg pev ai 
irp&Tai irepiixovai ra? -rrpb T&vTpaiK&v irpagei? 
Kal pvdoXoyia?, Kal tovtmv ai pev irporjyov- 
pevai rpefc ra? fiapffaptKa?, ai S’ egi}? cr^eSoi/ 
ra<: t&v 'EXXr/voiv apxatoXoyia?' ev Se Tai? 
pera ravra<; evSe/ca tcl? diro r&v TpcoiK&v / coiva? 
irpagei? dvayeypdcj>apev eeo? T779 'AXegdvSpov 
7 TeXeVTi}?' ev Se Tai? efj?9 eitcotri Kal t pueri /3i/3Xou? 
Ta? Xot7ra? diraaa? Karerdgapev peXP^ T V’> 
apxvs tov eri iotuvto? iroXepov P copaioi? irpo? 
KeXrou?, Ka0’ ov rjyovpevo? Taio? 'lovXto? 
K aiaap 6 Sia Ta? irpagei? irpoaayopev0el? 0eo? 
KareiroXeprjae pev rd irXeioTa Kal /ia%t/iWTaTa 
t&v KeXT&v edvrj, irpoe/3i/3aae Se tt)V r/yepoviav 
Trj? 'Pfi opi)? p^XP 1 T <*> v BpeTTaviK&v vtjocov' 
tovtov S’ ai irp&Tau ir paget? eireTeXea0r]trav 
’ OXvpiridSo 9 Trj? eKaTotJTTj? Kal oySorjKoerTrj? 
«ara to irp&TOv 6T09 eir apxovTO? ’A0i}vrjatv 
'H p&Sov. 

5. Twi» Se XP° vcov tovtcov irepieiXrjppevcov ev 
TavTi] tt) irpaypaTeia tov 9 pev irpo t&v 'VponK&v 
ov Siopigopeda /3e/3aia)? Suci to prjSev irapdirrjypa 
irapeiXrjtpevai trepl tovtwv irtmevopevov, diro Se 
t&v TpcoiK&v aKoXovdw 9 ’AiroXXoS&pa> tc3 'Adrj- 
vaito Ttdepev bySorjKOVT eTr/ irpo 9 ttjv KadoSov 
t&v 'H paKXeiS&v, diro Se TavTrj? eirl ttjv irp&Tijv 
’OXvpiridSa Svtrl Xeiirovra t&v TpiaKotrieov Kal 
TpiaKovTa, trvXXoytgopevoi tov 9 XP 0V0V 9 diro t&v 
ev AcuceSalpovi f3acnXevcrdvTa>v, diro Se tt}? 

1 For the subjecta of the several Books see the Introduction, 

BOOK I. 4. 6-5* 1 

sent a brief preliminary outline of the work as a 
whole. Our first six Books embrace the events and 
legends previous to the Trojan War, the first three 
setting forth the antiquities of the barbarians, and 
the next three almost exclusively those of the 
Greeks; 1 in the following eleven we have written 
a universal history of events from the Trojan War 
to the death of Alexander; and in the succeeding 
twenty-three Books we have given an orderly account 
of all subsequent events down to the beginning of 
the war between the Romans and the Celts, in the 
course of which the commander, Gaius Julius Caesar, 
who has been deified because of his deeds, subdued 
the most numerous and most warlike tribes of the 
Celts, and advanced the Roman Empire as far as the 
British Isles. The first events of this war occurred 
in the first year of the One Hundred and Eightieth 69 -rt 
Olympiad, when Herodes was archon in Athens. 2 B 0 ' 

5. As for the periods included in this work, 
we do not attempt to fix with any strietness the 
limits of those before the Trojan War, because no 
trustworthy chronological table covering them has 
come into our hands: but from the Trojan War ii84 
we follow Apollodorus of Athens 3 in setting the BC ' 
interval from then to the Return of the Heracleidae 11&* 
as eighty years, from then to the First Olympiad B 0 - 
three hundred and twenty-eight years, reckoning 776-6 
the dates by the reigns of the kings of Lacedaemon, B ' ' 

2 On these periods and dates, as given more fully in the 
following paragraph, see the Introduction, p. xv. 

8 A philosopher and historian of the second century b.o. 
whose Chronology covered the years 1184-119 b.o. Tlie 
Chronology of Castor of Rhodes, of the first century B.o., which 
came down to 60 B.O., and was probably also used by Diodorus 
after the date where Apollodorus stopped, included the period 
before the Trojan War. 


W/3WTJ75 'OXvfiiridSos et? tt)V apxh v T °v Kc\t ikov 
T roXe/Mou, fjv reXevrrjV ire-Troir/peda tj)? i<nopia<t, 
ema/coaia ical Tpid/covTa- coare ttjv oXr)V trpay- 
fiareiav rjp&v tbtt apdtcovTCL J3 l/3Xcov ovaav irepie- 
Xeiv €Ttj Bval XeiirovTa t&v xiXiau e/caTov 
TeTTapdxovTa %copt? t&v xpovtov t&v Trepiexpv- 
T(OV TO? T Tpo T&V T pCOIK&V 7Tpdfei?. 

2 TavTa pev ovv d.Kpi/S<M? irpohiwpiaapeOa, fiov- 
Xopjevoi toi>? pev dvayiv&a KOVTa<t et? evvoiav 
ayaytlv tj}? oXt 7? TpoOeaecot, t oi>? Se SiaaKevd^eiv 
elwdoTas t a? /S L^Xovt airo Tpetycu tov Xv paiveaOai 
t a? dXXoTpias vpaypcneia*;. f)plv Se wap’ 0A.J71' 
tt]V icTTOptav Ta /t«< ypa<f>€VTa icaX&<; /t»? /teTe^eTto 
<j> 0 ovov, Ta Se ayvorjdevTa t vyxaveTto Biop 0 &aem 

VTTO T&v BwaT(OTep(OV. 

3 ^leXrjXvdoTfi Se virep &v -rrpoypovpeda, ttjv 
iirayyeXiav t?)? ypcufjrp ftefiatovv eyxeipfoopev. 

6. Ile/ji /tej/ ovi/ 0e<wi> Ttm? evvoias eaxpv ot 
irp&Toi «araSetfavTe? Tip-av t 0 deiov, tcai t&v 
pvdoXoyovpevmv nepl eicdaTov 1 twi' dOavaTwv, 
t k pev TToXXd crvvTa^aadai Traprjaopev 2 tcar 

IBiav Bia t 0 t^i> \m 60 eaiv tovtijv ttoXXov Xoyov 
irpoo-heladai, da a S’ ai/ Tat? irpoiceip.evcu<; laTopiaK 
olicela 8 Bdifcopev inrapx^v, 0 rjaop.ev ev 
KefyaXalow, iva p.r]Bev t&v a/co^? d^iarv emfrj- 

2 t?}t at. 7rept Se tov yevovs t&v dirdvTeov avffpa»- 

1 So Dindorf : irepl toip fiv8o\ttyovfifvuv ixdiTTOV. 

* ir arbaoutv Madvig : neiparriptia. 

* oi/ceia Vogel: loiKira. 

1 In Book 40. 8 Diodorus remarks tbat some of his Books 
had been circulated before the publioation of the work as a 

BOOK I. 5. 1-6. 3 

and from the First Olympiad to the beginning of the 
Celtic War, which we have made the end of our 
history, seven hundred and thirty years; so that 
our whole treatise of forty Books embraces eleven 
hundred and thirty-eight years, exclusive of the 
peviods which embrace the events before the Trojan 

We have given at the outset this precise outhne, 
since we desire to inform our readers about the pro- 
ject as a whole, and at the same time to deter those 
who are accustomed to make their books by com- 
pilation, 1 from mutilating works of which they are not 
the authors. And throughout our entire history 
it is to be hoped that what we have done well may 
not be the object of envy, and that the matters 
wherein our knowledge is defective may receive 
correction at the hands of more able historians. 

Now that we have set forth the plan and purpose 
of our undertaking we shall attempt to make good 
our promise of such a treatise. 

6. Concerning the various conceptions of the gods 
formed by those who were the first to introduce 
the worship of the deity, and concerning the myths 
which are told about each of the immortals, although 
we shall refrain from setting forth the most part 
in detail, since such a procedure would require a 
long account, yet whatever on these subjects we 
may feel to be pertinent to the several parts of our 
proposed history we shall present in a summary 
fashion, that nolliing which is worth hearing may 
be found missing. Concerning, however, every race 

whole. Whether they had been materially altered, as waa 
often done by the diaskeuasts, is not known. 



■ntav Kal t&v irpayOevTwv ev toi; yvwpi^opevoi; 
pepem Trj; oiKovpevrj;, &; av evEe^V™ ^ £ p} T "" 
outco iraXai&v, a/cpifim avaypa^ropev airo t&v 
3 apxaiordTMV ypovtav apgapevoi. irepl Trj; irp&- 
Trj; Toivvv yeveoeeo; t&v dvdpmiroiv Elttcu yeyo- 
vatriv diroefrderei; irapa toi; vopipeoTUToi; t&v T 6 
<f>v<n,o\6ya>v /eai t&v laTOpiK&v^ oi ph yap 
av t&v ayevvrjTov Kal afpdapTov viroenrjaapevoi 
tov Koapov, direejrtjvavTO Kal to 7 evo; t&v av- 
Qp&irwv ef al&vot vi rdpxetv , prjSeiroTe t fj; av t&v 
T eKV&aeeo; dfyyryv ecr^rj/euta?. 01 Se yewrjTOV^ Kai 
<f>0apTov elvai vopiaav T 6 ? e<f>r)crav bpoleo; eKelvw 1 
Toi>? avdp&irov; Tv%elv t rj; irp&Tr); yeveaeeo; 
wpierpevoi; xpovoii. 

7. KaTa 7 ap ttjv e£ dpyfj; t&v oXojv avo Tao iv 
piav e^eiv iSeav ovpavov tc Kal yfjv, pepiypevi}; 
avT&v Trp <f>vaea>;’ peTa Se Taura SiaoTavTeov 
t&v aeopaTeov dir dWijXeov, tov pev Koapov 
irepiXa^eiv airaaav ttjv optopevqv ev av t& 
ovvt agiv, tov S’ depa Kivpaeeo; Tvxeiv avvexov;, 
Kal to pev irvp&Se; avTov Trpo<; tov; perewpoTa- 
tov; tottov; avvSpapelv, avuxfrepov; ovor}; t rj; 
TOiavTrj; <f>voea>; Sia Trjv KOvepOTrjTa' dej>' j}? 
ama? tov pev ijXiov Kal to Xoiirov irXriOo; t&v 
aoTpeov ivairo\r}ef>9rjvat t rj irdap Sivy to Se 
l\v&Se; Kal 6o\epov peoa Trj; t&v vyp&v ervy- 
Kpierem; eirl Tauro KaTaaTrjvai Sia to fiapo;’ 

1 iKtlvtf Rhodoman : tuelvon. 

1 That the universe, as well as the earth and the human 
raoe, was rternal was the view of Aristotle and the early 


BOOK I. 6. 2-7. 1 

of men, and all events that have taken place in the 
known parts of the inhabited world, we shall give 
an accurate account, so far as that is possible in the 
case of things that happened so long ago, beginning 
with the earliest times. Now as regards the first 
origin of mankind two opinions have arisen among 
the best authorities both on nature and on history. 
One group, which takes the position that the universe 
did not come into being and will not decay, has 
declared that the race of men also has existed from 
eternity, there having never been a time when 
men were first begottfen; the other group, however, 
which holds that the universe came into being and 
will decay, has declared that, like it, men had their 
first origin at a definite time. 1 

7. When in the beginning, as their account runs, the 
universe was being formed,both heaven and earth were 
indistinguishable in appearance, since their elements 
were intermingled: then, when their bodies separated 
from one another, the universe took on in all its parts 
the ordered form in which it is now seen; the 
set up a continual motion, and the fiery element in 
it gathered into the highest regions, since anything 
of such a nature moves upward by reason of its 
lightness (and it is for this reason that the sun and 
the multitude of other stars became involved in the 
universal whirl); while all that was mud-like and 
thick and contained an admixture of moisture sank 
because of its weight into one place; and as this 

Peripatetica, and was defended by Theophrastus against Zeno, 
the founder of the Stoic school. The argumenta used by 
Theophrastus are found in Philo Judaeus, De Aeternitate 
Mundi , especially chaps. 23-27; cp. E. Zcller, Aristotle and the 
Earlier Peripatetica (Eng. transi.), 2. pp. 380 f. 



2 elXovpevov S’ iv eavT& crvvex&s Kal avarp£<f)0- 
pevov 1 in pev t&v vyp&v ttjv daKasnav, iic Se 
t&v aTepepvuoTepwv troifjaat Tt)v yrjv tttjXioSt) 

3 Kal iravTeX&'i airaXrjv. ravrqv Se r6 pev irp&Tov 
tov trepl tov rfXiov trvpo<t KaTaXap\jravTo<; irrjljiv 
Xafieiv, etreiTa Sia ttjv deppaaiav ava^vpovpivrpi 
•nj? iiri<f>aveia<; avvoiSijaai riva t&v vyp&v /cara 
troXXov<; tottov;, koX yeveadai trepl avta arjtreSovai 
vpeai XeirTOi; irepiexopeva<;‘ oirep iv toi? eXeai Kai 
Tot? Xipvai^ovai t&v tottiov eti Kal vvv opaadai 
yivopevov, itreiSdv tt); x&P a '' KaTeifrvyp.evT] 1 ; a<j>va) 
Siairvpa; 6 ar)p yevrjTai, pr) Xa@&v tt)v peTa/3o\rjv 

4 ex tov KaT oXiyov. £woyovovpev(i)v Se t&v vyp&v 

Sia tt); deppaala; tov elprjpevov tpotrov to? pev 
vvKTat Xapftaveiv axrriKa ttjv Tpofav eK tt j? tri- 
TTTovo"r)<; atro tov trepieXovTO; bplxXt)';, S j 

rjpepas vtro tov KavpaTOt atepeovadai' to S 
ea XaTOv t&v Kvoipopovpevwv ttjv teXeiav avl-rjaiv 
XafUovtMV, Kal t&v vpevwv SiaKavOevriov Te Kal 
trepippayevTiov, dvatfrvfjvai iravToSairov; TVtrov<t 

5 t&iov. tovtcov Se Ta pev tr\eiaTt)t deppuaia; 
KeKOivwvijKOTa trpoi; tov; peTe&pov; tottov; atreX- 
Beiv yevbpeva trTijva, Ta Se ye&Sov; avTexopeva 
avyKpiaeoi; iv tt) t&v eptret&v Kal t&v aXXmv 
T&v itriyeiwv Tagei KaTapidprjdfjvai, Ta Se 
(pvaeco; vypa; paXiata peTeiXrj<f>OTa trpo; tov 
opoyevf) tottov avvSpapeiv, ovopaadevTa trXoiTa. 

6 tI)v Se yrjv dei paXXov aTepeovpevrjv vtto Te tov 
trepl tov "fjXtov trvpo; Kal t&v irvevpa.TO>v to 
TeXevTaiov prjKen Svvaadai prjSev t&v pei&vaiv 

1 So Vogel: «a! av<rTpe<p6/ifyov ow«x«* Vulgate, Bekker, 

BOOK I. 7. 2-6 

continually tumed about upon itself and became 
compressed, out of the wet it formed the sea, and 
out of what was firmer, the land, which was like 
potters clay and entirely soft. But as the sun’s 
fire shone upon the land, it first of all became firm, 
and then, since its surface was in a ferment because 
of the warmth, portions of the wet swelled up in 
masses in many places, and in these pustules covered 
with delicate membranes made their appearance. 
Such a phenomenon can be seen even yet in swamps 
and marshy places whenever, the ground having 
become cold, the air suddenly and without any 
gradual change becomes intensely warm. And 
while the wet was being impregnated with life by 
reason of the warmth in the manner described, by 
night the living things forthwith received their 
nourishment from the mist that feli from the envelop- 
ing air, and by day were made solid by the intense 
heat; and finally, when the embryos had attained 
their full development and the membranes had been 
thoroughly heated and broken open, there was pro- 
duced every form of animal life. 1 Of these, such as 
had partaken of the most warmth set off to the 
higher regions, having become winged, and such as 
retained an earthy consistency came to be numbered 
in the class of creeping things and of the other 
land animals, while those whose composition partook 
the most of the wet element gathered into the region 
congenial to them, receiving the name of water 
animals. And since the earth constantly grew more 
solid through the action of the sun’s fire and of the 
winds, it was finally no longer able to generate any 

1 Cp. chap. 10. 2. 



faoyoveiv, dXX' e/c rij; irpex; aXXrjXa p.Lgeco; 
etcaara yevvaoBat, rd>v ep^jrvxatv. 

7 "E otice Se irepl rrj; rosv oXcov epvaeax; ovo 

EvptiriSij; Siatfxovelv rot; irpoeiprjpevoLq, pad-qrr]; 
&v ’ Ava^ayopov rov tpvatKov' ev ydp rfj MeXa- 
viirirp ridrjatv ovreo;, 

eo? ovpavo; re 7 ald r r/v popefnj pia • 
eirel S' ixeopidOrjffciv aXXrjXeov Stxa, 
riKTOvm irdvTa icaveSa/cav ek </>ao5, 

SevSprj, irerrjvd, 8rjpa;, ov; 8’ aXprj rpetpet, 
ryivo 5 T€ dvqlSlV. 

8. Kat irepl pev ii}; irpiorrj; ru>v oXwv yeve- 
aeco; roravi a irapetXr^apev, rov S’ e£ apxv 5 
yevvrjdevra; rS>v dv8 peoireov tpaalv ev araKrtp icat 
drjptdSet y3 Lm tcaSeareora; criropdSrjv eirl ra 5 
vopa; etjievai, /eal irpoocpepeerdai rrj; re pordvrjs 
rrjv ir poarjveardrrjv Kal rov 5 avropdrovq airo 

2 ra>v SevSpeov /capirov;. /eal iroXep.ovp.evov 5 ynev 
viro r&v drjpiojv aXXijXot 5 ftorjdelv viro rov avptfie- 
povro 5 SiSaoicopevov;, aSpot^opevov; Se Sta rov 
<f>o/3ov eiriytvdxTKetv i/c rov /cara puepov rov 5 

3 dXXrjXajv rvirov 5 . t»}5 <f>eovi} 5 8’ aarjpov /eat 

avyfcexvpevi]; ovat )5 6* rov Kar oXtyov Stap8povv 
ra? X6^t£5, «ai Trpov dXXjXov; rtSevra; avp$oXa 
irepl e/edarov ra>v viro/ceipevcov 7 vtoptpov ertfitenv 
avrol; irotrjaat rrjv irepl dirdvraiv epprjvetav. 

4 rotovrcov Se avari) par a)V ytvopevcov Kad' airaaav 
rrjv ohcovpevrjv, oi)% oporfxovov iravra; exetv rrjv 

1 Frg. 488, Nauck. 

1 G. Busolt, “ Diodor’a Verhaltniss z. Stoicismus, JaArft. 
cZ. Phil. 139 (1889), 297 ff., ascribes to Posidonius most of the 
Preface of Diodorus, but finds in this and the preceding 


BOOK I. 7. 6-8. 4 

of the larger animals, but each kind of living creatures 
was now begotten by breeding with one another. 

And apparently Euripides also, who was a pupil 
of Anaxagoras the natural philosopher, is not opposed 
to this account of the nature of the universe, for in 
his Melanippe * 1 he writes as follows: 

Tis thus that heav’n and earth were once one form; 
But since the two were sundered each from each, 
They now beget and bring to light all things, 

The trees and birds, the beasts, the spawn of sea, 
And race of mortals. 

8. Concerning the first generation of the universe 
this is the account which we have received. 2 But 
the first men to be born, they say, led an undisci- 
plined and bestial life, setting out one by one to 
secure their sustenance and taking for their food 
both the tenderest herbs and the fruits of wild trees. 
Then, since tlicy were attacked by the wild beasts, 
they came to cach other’s aid, being instructed by 
expediency, and when gathered together in this way 
by reason of their fear, they gradually came to 
recognize their mutual characteristics. And tliough 
the sounds which they made were at first unintelli- 
gible and indistinct, yet gradually they came to give 
articulation to their speech, and by agreeing with 
one another upon symbols for each thing which 
presented itself to them, made known among them- 
selves the significance which was to be attached to each 
term. But since groups of this kind arose over every 
part of the inhabited world, not all men had the 

chapter Epicurean influence. The fact is that Diodorus’ 
philosophy, if he may be said to have had any, was highly 



StaXeicTOv, e/caartuv eo? exi/^e avvTafjdvTtov t«? 
Xe^ets' Sto «a! iravToLovs re virdp^at %apa«Ti}pa? 
StaXetCTcov ical tcl irp&Ta yevopeva avaT-ppaTa 
t& v dirdvTcov e9v&v dpyi^ova yevecrOcu. 

6 Toi>? Ol>V TTyOeOTOU? T<Sf dv9p&1t(t>V pTjSeVOS T&V 
irpbs fitov Yprjaipwv evprjpevov eVnroreo? Sidyeiv, 
7 vpvovs /tev ia9r]TOS ovTas, olicijaecos Se /cai irvpbs 
arjOei ?, t potprjs S’ rjpepov iravTeX&s dveworjTOVS. 

6 ical yap tt]v avytcopuSrjv t»}? aypias Tpotfrfjs dyvo- 
ovvTas prjSeptav t&v tcapir&v eis t a? evSeias 
iroieitrOcu irapd9eatv Sto ical ttoXXovs avT&v 
dir6XXva9ai *oto tov? %et/teova? Stet Te to i/rv^o? 

7 «ai crndvtv t i)? Tpotprjs. e’« Se toO 1 «ax’ 
oXiyov viro t» 7 ? ireipas SiSaaicopevovs et? Te xa 
t TirrfXata Kara<pevyetv iv t& xetfibntt ical t&v 
tcapn&v tovs <pvXaTTea9at Svvapevovs airoTi- 

8 9ea9ai. yvtoaOevTos Se xoO irvpos «ai xeof aXXmv 
Teov %/3Jj<n'/teof «axa ptucpov «ai Ta? Te^vas evpe- 
9rjvat ical t aXXa xa Swapeva tov tcotvbv fiiov 

9 &tf>eXrjaai. ica96Xov yap iravTcov ttjv XP elav 
ainrjv StSdatcaXov yevea9ai xot? dv9p&irois> 
v<f>T)yovp.evr)v ot«eteo? x^v eicdoTOU pd9rjaiv 
evtfivel £o>eo «ai avvepyoiis e^orm 7rpo? airavTa 
X^ipas ical Xoyov ical ^v%^? ayxivoiav. 

10 Kai Trepi /tev t»}? irp&Tps yeveaecos t&v dv- 
OpcbiTcov «ai toO naXatoTaTOU /3iov t oi? pt]9eiatv 
dptcea9rja6pe9a, crTO%a£op.eiaH t»)? avppeTptaq. 
9 . Ilepi Se t&v irpd^ewv t&v wapaSeSopevcov 
ptev ei? / tvrjptfjv, yevopevcov Se ev Tot? yvmpt^opevots 
T 07 rot? tt)? oi/covpevrjs, Sie^tevai iretpaaop.e9a. 

1 toO Schafer: roi-rou. 


BOOK I. 8. 4-9. 1 

same language, inasmuch as every group organized 
the elements of its speech by mere chance. This is 
the explanatiori of the present existence of every 
conceivable kind of language, and, furthermore, out 
of these first groups to be formed came ali the 
original nations of the world. 

Now the first men, since none of the things useful 
for life had yet been discovered, led a wretched 
existence, having no clothing to cover them, knowing 
not the use of dwelling and fire, and also being 
totally ignorant of cultivated food. For since they 
also even neglected the harvesting of the wild food, 
they laid by no store of its fruits against their 
needs; consequently large numbers of them perished 
in the winters because of the cold and the lack of 
food. Little by little, however, experience taught 
them both to take to the caves in winter and to 
store such fruits as could be preserved. And when 
they had become acquainted with fire and other 
useful things, the arts also and whatever else is 
capable of furthering man’s social life were gradually 
discovered. Indeed, speaking generally, in all things 
it was necessity itself that became man’s teacher, 
supplying in appropriate fashion instruction in every 
matter to a creature which was well endowed by 
nature and had, as its assistants for every purpose, 
hands and speech and sagacity of mind. 

And as regards the first origin of men and their 
earliest manner of life we shall be satisfied with 
what has been said, since we would keep due propor- 
tion in our account. 9. But as regards all the events 
which have been handed down to memory and took 
place in the known regions of the inhabited world, we 
shall now undertake to give a full account of them. 



2 T oi>s pev ovv irpwTovs virdpgavTas fiaaiXets 
ovt airrol Xeyeiv e^optv ovte twv iaropi/ewv tois 
iirayyeXXop,evois elBevai avyKar arid epeQa' dBv- 
vcltov yap tt)V evpeaiv twv ypappdrwv ovtws 
etvat rraXatdv Stare t ois irpwrois /3aaiXevatv 
rjXi/ciwTi&a yeveaBar el Se Ti5 «at tovto avy- 
Xwprjaai, to ye twv iaToptoypaiftwv yevos irav- 
reXws <f>aiverai vewarl tw koivw f3iw a uvear a- 

3 p,evov. irepi Se t??? tov yevovs apxaioTijTos ou 
povov dp<f>iaj3i)TOvaiv "EXXrjves, aXXa /cai iroXXoi 
twv f3ap(3dpwv, eavTobs avT6x3 ovas Xeyovres /eal 
irpwrovs twv airdvTWV avQpwirwv evperas yevea- 
6ai twv ev tw f3iw xprjaipwv, /eal ras yevopAvas 
irap' aurois irpd^eis e/c irXeiaTwv xpovwv dvaypa- 

4 <f> t)s Tj^/wadai. r)p,els Se 7 repi pev 7% hedarwv 
TraXawrrjTos Ta/cpi(3es /eal tivwv t rporepel tci eQvt) 
twv aXXwv tols xpovois /eal Troadis ereaiv ov/c av 
Biopiaaipeda, t a Se Xeyopeva irap e/caarois irepi 
t?}s dpxcuoTTiTOs /eal twv iraXaiwv irpdgewv ev 
/cetyaXaiois avaypdtfropev, aToxa&pevoi rfjs avp- 

5 per pias. irepi irpwTwv Se twv fiapftdpwv Biegi- 
pev, ov/c apxaioT&povs avrous rjyovpevoi twv 
'EXX jvwv, Kaddirep '“Ejtopos eiprj/eev, aXXa irpo- 
S teXOeiv fiovXopevoi t a icXeiara twv irepi avrous > 
oirws dp^dpevoi rwvirapd tois ''EXXrjatv taropov- 
pivwv p-rjSeplav ev rats apxaioXoylats erepoyevr) 

6 irpagiv Trapep.j3dXwp.ev. iirel Se /cara TtjV 
KlyvTrTov 6ewv re yeveaeis virdpgai pvdoXo- 
yovvrai, at re twv aarpwv dpxaioTarai irapa- 

BOOK I. 9. 2-6 

Now as to who were the first lungs we are in no 
position to speak on our own authority, nor do we 
give assent to those historians who profess to know; 
for it is impossible that the discovery of writing was 
of so early a date as to have been contemporary 
with the first kings. But if a man sliould concede 
even this last point, it stili seems evident that writers 
of history are as a class a quite recent appearance 
in the life of mankind. Again, with respect to the 
antiquity of the human race, not only do Greeks 
put forth their claims but many of the barbarians 
as well, all holding that it is they who are auto- 
chthonous and the first of all men to discover the 
things which are of use in life, and that it was the 
events in their own history which were the earlicst 
to have been held worthy of record. So far as we 
are concerned, however, we shall not make the 
attempt to determine with precision the antiquity of 
each nation or what is the race whose nations are 
prior in point of time to the rest and by how many 
years, but we shall record summarily, keeping due 
proportion in our account, what each nation has to 
say concerning its antiquity and the early events 
in its history. The first peoples which we shall dis- 
cuss will be the barbarians, not that we consider 
them to be earlier than the Greeks, as Ephorus has 
said, but because we wish to set forth most of the 
facts about them at the outset, in order that we may 
not, by beginning with the various accounts given 
by the Greeks, have to interpolate in the different 
narrations of their early history any event connected 
with another people. And since Egypt is the country 
where mythology places the origin of the gods, where 
the earliest observations of the stars are said to have 


TTjpijaeis evpfjaOai XeyovTai, irpot Se tovtok 
npdgeii agioXoyoi Kal TroXXal peydXmv dvSp&v 
ioTopovvTai, TTOir\obpe6a tjj ? laro pias t tjv apxh v 
Sta t&v icar AiyviTTov ir paxOevrwv. 

10. <t>acrl tolvvv AiyviTTioi icara t tjv it; 
apxv’' twv oXtov yeveaiv 7rpd)T0v<; avdp&trovs 
yeveadai /cara t tjv Aiyvmov Sia, re ttjv 
evKpaaiav t 9? x&ipa? Kal T *> v 4 > ^ al \ T0 ” 

NetXoi/. tovtov yap -rroXvyovov ovra Kai ra? 
Tpo<f>a? avTO&veh irapexbfievov paSiw<s eKTpefyeiv 
t a £(ooyovr)9evTa- ttjv re yap tov KaXapov pi^av 
Kal TOV XlOTOV, €Tl Se TOV Alyvimov Kvaftov Kal 
to Ka\ovp,evov Koptxalov Kal troXXd TOiavO eTepa 
t po(j)tjv eToip.rjv irapixeadai t& yevei t tov avOpm- 

2 7 TWV. Trj<: S’ it; dpxv* nap' amoh £woyovia<i 
TeKjirjpiov treip&vTai <j>epeiv to Kai vvv exi ttjv 
iv ®i]/3aiSi x^P av * OT “ Ttras Kaipoix; toctoutov? 
Kal ttjXikovtov<; /tu? yevvdv wctt6 to v<s ISovTa 1 ; to 
yivopevov eKirXrjTTea6ar eVtou? yap avr&v em 
p.ev tov ottjOov? Kal t&v pocrOliov -rroS&v 
SiaTeTVTruadai Kal Kivrjaiv Xapftaveiv, tc i Se 
Xoiirov tov <r&paTO<; eyeiv aSiaTVtrtoTov, pevovarjs 

3 eTi KaTa <f>vaiv tjj? /3&Xov. €K tovtov S t eivai 
<f>avepov oti KaTa ttjv et; apxv 9 tov Koapov av- 
aTaaiv Tt)<; ytji evKpaTOV Ka6eaT&crrj<; pdXiaT av 
eax e t rjv yeveaiv t&v avd p&triov rj *ar Aiyvirrov 
X&pa' Kal yap vvv, ovSapov ttj<; dXXrj ? yrjs 
<f>vovarj<; ovSev t&v toiovtwv, iv povrj TavTTj 

1 These plants are more fully described in chap. 34. For 
the “ root of the reed” op. ehap. 80, where the preparation 


BOOK I. 9. 6-10. 3 

been made, and where, furthermore, many note- 
worthy deeds of great men are recorded, we shall 
begin our history with the events connected with 

10. Now the Egyptians have an account like this: 
When in the beginning the universe came into being, 
men first came into existence in Egypt, both because 
of the favourable climate of the land and because of 
the nature of the Nile. For this stream, since it 
produces much life and provides a spontaneous supply 
of food, easily supports whatever living things have 
been engendered; for both the root of the reed 
and the lotus, as well as the Egyptian bean and 
corsaeum, as it is called, and many other similar 
plants, supply the race of men with nourishment 
ali ready for use. 1 As proof that animal life appeared 
first of all in their land they would offer the fact 
that even at the present day the soil of the Thebaid 
at certain times generates mice in such numbers 
and of such size as to astonish all who have witnessed 
the phenomenon; for some of them are fully formed 
as far as the breast and front feet and are able to 
move, while the rest of the body is unformed, the 
clod of earth stili retaining its natural character. 
And irom this fact it is manifest that, when the 
world was first taking shape, the land of Egypt could 
better than any other have been the place where 
mankind came into being because of the well- 
tempered nature of its soil; for evcn at the present 
time, while the soil of no other country generates 
any such things, in it alone certain living creatures 

of such food is described. The corsaeum was the tuber of the 
Nile water-lily. 



Oeiapeiadai Tiva t&v ep^frvxivv wapaSofo)? £0070- 
vovpeva. y 

4 K adoXov Se Xeyouaiv, etTe icara, tov eirl 
AevicaXicovos <yevopevov icaTa/cXuapov e<j} 0 apy to 
TfXeia-Ta t&v %q>a>v, et«os pdXicrTa Siaaea&aQai 
Toi»? /cara Tyv ‘ AiyvirTOV viro Tyv peaypfipiav 
KaTOiKOvvTas, t»s dv Ty<s %eopa? aiiT&v ovays 
avopftpov /cara to tcXelaTOV, eire, k ad dire p rive? 
<f>a<ri, iravreXov'; yevopevys t&v epyjrvxcov <f)dopd<; 
T) 7 y tcaXiv ei; dpxys /caivas yveyice t&v Z&cov 
<f>vo-ei$, opi os ical /cara tovtov tov X07 ov irpeireiv 
rTjv apxyybv t&v epifrvxcov 1 * veaiv irpoad-n-Teiv 

5 TavTy rfj %w/»a. t?Js 7 dp irapd toi s aXXoi<s ejrop- 

fipias t& irap eavroi s 1 7 ivopevcp icavpaTi 

pvyeiays el/cos ev/cpaTorarov 7 eveadai tov aepcc 

6 irpb<s t rjv eg dpxv S t&v vdvTiov %rooyoviav.^ ical 
7 ap ev rots *a$’ 17/xa? ert %poiw? /cara tj^ 
emicXvo-Tov Aijvtttov ev toZ? oyjfipois t&v 
vSaTwv <pavep& s opdadai 7 evvwpevcvt Rueret? 

7 ep-fvxw OTav yap tov iroTapov, t yv avax&- 

pyaiv iroiovpevov Tyv irp&ryv t??s tXoos o yXio ? 
Siagypdvy, <fjaai avvicnaadai £&a, Tivd pev 
ets reXo? dirypTiapeva, tlvci Se ypiTeXy ical irpo<! 
avTy avpcpvy tt} yy. , , \ 

11. Tou? 8’ 0 !« /ear Atyvmov avdpcoTrov<s to 
iraXaiov yevopevovs, ava^Xe^fravTa<; eis , tov 
abapov ical Tyv tcov oXcov cfivaiv tcaTaTrXayeVTas 
Te 2 ical davpaaavTas, viroXafielv elvai Svo Oeov s 
diSiov s re «at irp&Tov s, tov Te yXiov icai Tyv 
aeXyvyv, &v tov pev v Ocnpiv , Tyv Se 'hriv ovo- 

1 cauTOts Vogel: tavrijj D, outoIs F, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 10 . 3 - 11 . 1 

may be seen coming into being in a marvellous 

In general, they say that if in the flood which 
occurred in the time of Deucalion most living things 
were destroyed, it is probable that the inhabitants 
of Southern Egypt survived rather than any others, 
since their country is rainless for the most part; or 
if, as some maintain, the destruction of living things 
was complete and the earth then brought forth 
again new forms of animals, nevertheless, even on 
such a supposition the first genesis of living things 
fittingly attaches to this country. For when the 
moisture from the abundant rains, which feli among 
other peoples, was mingled with the intense heat 
which prevails in Egypt itself, it is reasonable to 
suppose that the air became very well tempered for 
the first generation of ali living things. Indeed, even 
in our day during the inundations of Egypt the 
generation of forms of animal life can clearly be 
seen taking place in the pools which remain the 
longest; for, whenever the river has begun to recede 
and the sun has thoroughly dried the surface of the 
slime, living animals, they say, take shape, some of 
them fully formed, but some only half so and stili 
actually united with the very earth. 

11. Now the men of Egypt, they say, when ages 
ago they came into existence, as they looked up at 
the fimiament and were struck with both awe and 
wonder at the nature of the universe, conceived that 
two gods were both et ernal and first. namely, th e 
sun and the moon, whom they called respeo t.ively 
Osiris and lsis 7 these appellations having in each 

* rt Vogel: omitted by Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 



pdaai, diro rivos ervpov redeiarjs bcarepas rrjs 

2 TTpoaryyoptas ravrrjs. ^ pedeppt]vevopev<ov yap 
rovriov eis rov 'E XXrjviKov ttj? SiaXeicrov rpoirov 
eivai rov pev v O aipiv iroXvocfrdaXpov, eucorass' 
iravraxv 7“/> eirifidXXovra ras axrivas Srairep 
ofydaXpois iroXXois ftXeireiv airaaav yrjv /eal 
ddXarrav. ical rov iroirjrr)v Se Xeyeiv avp<f>arva 

rjeXios ff, os rrdvr e(f>opa «ai iravr eiraicovei. 

3 ra>v Se irap’ "EiXXrjai iraXai&v pvdoXoycov rives 

rov "O aipiv A ibvvaov irpoaovopdfyvai «al 

'Zeipiov irapiovvpcos • 5>v ILvpoXiros pev ev rois 
Ba«%t«ot? eireai <f>r)<riv 

darpoipafj Aiovvaov ev aicriveaai irvpcoirov, 
'Oppetis Se 

rovvetcd piv tcaXeovai Qdvqra re nai Aiovvaov. 

4 tpaal Se rives koX ro evappa avrqr ro rrjs vefiplSos 
airo rrjs r&v aarpcov iroiKiXias irepirjcf>6ai. rrjv 
Se 'Iaiv pedepprjvevopevrjv eivai rraXaidv, redei- 

pevt)s rrjs irpoar/yopias dj££_ _ zSpt — aiSiov nai 

ira Xaias yeveae ios. /cepara S’ avrrj eirinoeaaiv 
airo re rrjs o\frews rjv e%ovaa <f>aiverai /caO’ ov 
dv xpbvov vrrdpxv prjvoeiSrjs, «at airo rrjs tcadie- 
pwpevrjs avrrj /3oos irap’ Aiyvirnois. , 

5 Tourou? Se rovs deovs vfyiaravrai rov avp- 
rravra Koapov Siouceiv rpetpovras re /cai avljovras 

1 “ The poet ” for the Greeks was Homer; the line o ocura 

frequently, e.g. Odyssey 12. 323. 

BOOK I. ii. 1-5 

case been based upon a certain meaning in them. 
For when the names are translated into Greek Osiris 
means “ many-eyed,” and properly so; for in shed- 
ding his rays in every direction he surveys with 
many eyes, as it were, ali land and sea. And the 
words of the poet 1 are also in agreement with this 
conception when he says : 

The sun, who sees all things and hears all things. 
And of the ancient Greek writers of mythology some 
give to Osiris the name Dionysus or, with a slight 
change in form, Sirius. One of them, Eumolpus, 
in his Bcucchic Hymn speaks of 

Our Dionysus, shining like a star, 

With fiery eye in ev’ry ray; 
while Orpheus 2 says : 

And this is why men call him Shining One 
And Dionysus. 

Some say that Osiris is also represented with the 
cloak of fawn-skin about his shoulders 8 as imitating 
the sky spangled with the stars. As for Isis, when 
translated the word means “ ancient,” the name 
having been given her because her birth was from 
everlasting and ancient. And they put horns on her 
head both because of the appearance which she has 
to the eye when the moon is crescent-shaped, and 
because among the Egyptians a cow is held sacred 
to her. 

These two gods, they hold, regulate the entire 
universe, giving both nourishment and increase to 
1 Frg. 237, Kem. 

* That is, as Dionysus was commonly represented. 



trdvta t pipepecriv cbpait aopatcp Ktvrjaei ttjv 
treploSov atrapTi^ovctav;, tt} te eapivfj /cal 0epivrj 
/cal ^eipepivfj' Tavras S' evavTicoTaTtjv dXXrjXai^ 
ttjv cpvcnv ixovaa ? atraprli^eiv tov eviavTOV 
dpitTTTj txiipcpcovla' <p ver iv Se avp/SdXXeaOai 
trXelcTTrjv ei? ttjv t5>v dtravrcov gcooyovlav tcov 
0eS)V TOVTCOV T OV pLtV TTVpcbSoVJ /Cal TrvevpaTOS, 
ttjv Se vypov /cal £ rjpov, /coivrj S' apcpoTepovs 
aepos' /cal Sia tovtcov trama yevvaa0ai /cal 

6 tpetpeadai. Sio /cal to pev atrav crcbpui t?;? tu>v 
oXcov (pvaeais ei; rjXlov /cal aeXrjvi 79 dtraptl^eadai, 
t a Se tovtcov peprj trevTe t a trpoevprjpeva, to Te 
trvevpa /cal to trvp /cal to f rjpov , en Se to vypov 
/cal to TeXevralov to aepd>Se<;, Sxrtrep etr dvdpco- 
trov /cecpaXrjv /cal %6?pa? /cal troSa<; /cal t aXXa 
peprj /caTapid povpiev, t ov ainov Tpoirov to acopa 
t ov /coapov avy/ceia 0 ai trav e/c to>v irpoeiprj- 

12. Tovtcov S' e/caaTov 0eov voplaai /cal 
trpoarjyoplav ISLav e/cacnco Oelvai /caTa to ol/ceiov 
TOV<iTrpci>Tov$ SvaXe/CTCp '%prjaapevov<i Sirjp0pcopevrj 

2 tcov /caT KiyvtrTOv av0 peotreov. to pevovv trvevpa 
Ala trpoaayopevaai peOepprjvevopevrjs TTj$Xei;eco$, 
ov aiTioi '/ orna t ov tJtvxi/cov toi? f^oi? ivopuaav 
vtrdpxeiv irdvTcov olovel Tiva traTepa. avpcpco- 
veiv Se Tomoit cpaxrl /cal tov eiricpavecnaTov 
Toiv 7 rap "ILXXrjai troirjTcov etrl tov Oeov tovtov 

traTrjp dvSpcov Te 0ecov Te. 

3 to Se trvp pe0ej>prjvev6pevov HcpaurTOv ovopaaai, 
voplaavras peyav elvai 0eov /cal troXXa avp- 

BOOK I. 11. 5-12. 3 

all things by means of a system of three seasons 
which complete the full cycle through an unobserv- 
able movement, these being spring and summer and 
winter; and these seasons, though in nature most 
opposed to one another, complete the cycle of the 
year in the fullest harmony. Moreover, practically all 
the physical matter which is essential to the genera- 
tion of all things is furnished by these gods, the sun 
contributing the fiery element and the spirit, the 
moon the wet and the dry, and both together the air; 
and it is through these elements that all things are 
engendered and nourished. And so it is out of the 
sun and moon that the whole physical body of the 
universe is made complete; and as for the five 
parts just named of these bodies—the spirit, the 
fire, the dry, as well as the wet, and, lastly, the 
air-like—just as in the case of a man we enumerate 
head and hands and feet and the other parts, so in 
the same way the body of the universe is composed 
in its entirety of these parts. 

12. Each of these parts they regard as a god and 
to each of them the first men in Egypt to use articu¬ 
late speech gave a distinet name appropriate to its 
nature. Now the spirit they called, as we translate 
their expression, Zeus, and since he was the source 
of the spirit of life in animals they considered him 
to be in a sense the father of all things. And they 
say that the most renowned of the Greek poets 1 
also agrees with this when he speaks of this god as 
The father of men and of gods. 

The fire they called Hephaestus, as it is translated, 
holding him to be a great god and one who con- 
1 Homer; the phrase oocurs in many passages. 



jUdXXeodai iraoiv et? yeveaiv re /eat TeXeiav 

4 av^rjoiv. ttjv Se yrjv axrnep ayyeiov rt tw v 
ijtvopevwv vTroXap/3dvovTa<; prjTepa npoaayopev- 
aav /eat tou? "EW-ijvas Se ratnrjv irapairXrjariwi 
ArjprjTpav rcaXeiv, ftpaxv peraTeOeiar)? Sia tov 
Xpovov rrjs Xe^ewf to ydp iraXaiov ovopd^eodai 
yrjv prjrepa, KaOdirep ical tov 'Op<f>ea rrpoapapro¬ 
pe iv Xeyovra 

prjTrjp iravTwv, Atjp^rrjp TrXovToSoTeipa. 

5 to S> vypov ovopaaai Xeyoucri tok? rraXaiovt 
'ibcedvrjv, 1 o pedepprjvevopevov pe v elvai Tpo<f>rjv 
prjTepa, irap' evioit Se twv EXXrjvwv Eliceavov 
vnapxeiv inreiXrjipdai, rrepi ov /eat tov ttoitjt^v 

'Ehceavov Te dewv yeveaiv rcal prjTepa Trjdvv. 

6 oi ydp AiyvTTTtoi vopi^ovaiv 'Ehceavov elvai tov 
irap' avToiv iroTapov NelXov, irpos <2 icat ra? 
twv dewv yeveaets inap^ar Trj<s yap rraarjt 
oUovpevr 7? /eara povrjv ttjv AiyvirTov elvai 
iroXeit iroXXdt viro twv dpxaiwv dewv bcTiape- 
va<i, olov Ato?, 'H\tot/, 'E ppov, AttoXXwvos, 
Ilafo?, ElXeidvias, aXXwv irXeiovwv. 

7 Tot» S’ aepa irpoaayopevaaL (fraaiv Adrjvav 
pedepprjvevopevrji} Trjs Xegews, /eal Ato? dvyaaepa 
vopiaai TavTt)v, /eat irapdevov virooTrjoaodai 
Sid Te to dcjrdopov elvai (frvoei tov aepa /eat tov 
aKpoTaTOV irrexeiv tottov tov avprravTos Koapov 
Siorrep e’/e ri)? icopv<f>rj<: tov Ato? pvdoXoyrjdrjvai 

1 'antiri/v WesseHng : uuceA/n?)» F, uictaviv CD. 


Frg. 302, Kem. 

BOOK I. 12. 3-7 

tributes much both to the birth and full development 
of all things. The earth, again, they looked upon as 
a kind of vessel which holds all growing things and so 
gave it the name “ mother ”; and in like manner the 
Greeks also call it Demeter, the word having been 
slightly changed in the course of time ; for in olden 
times they called her G6 Meter (Earth Mother), to 
which Orpheus 1 bears witness when he speaks of 

Earth the Mother of all, Demeter giver of wealth. 
And the wet, according to them, was called by the 
men of old Oceane, which, when translated, means 
Fostering-mother, though some of the Greeks have 
taken it to be Oceanus, in connection with whom 
the poet 2 also speaks of 

Oceanus source of gods and mother Tethys. 

For the Egyptians consider Oceanus to be their 
river Nile, on which also their gods were bom; since, 
they say, Egypt is the only country in the whole 
inhabited world where there are many cities which 
were founded by the first gods, such as Zeus, Helius, 
Hermes, Apollo, Pan, Eileithyia, and many more. 3 

The air, they say, they called Athena, as the name 
is translated, and they considered her to be the 
daughter of Zeus and conceived of her as a Virgin, 
because of the fact that the air is by its nature 
uncorrupted and occupies the highest part of the 
entire universe; for the latter reason also the myth 
arose that she was born from the head of Zeus. 

2 Tethys was the wife of Oceanus. The line is from the 
lliad 14. 302. 

* By the time Diodorus visited Egypt many an old 
Egyptian city bore a Greek name, such as Diospolis (cp. 
chap. 45), Heliopolis, Hermupolis, Apollinopolis, Panopolis, 
and the like. 



8 ravTtjv yeveo0at. &vopAa0at Se avTijv T pno- 
yevetav airo tov Tpt; peTafidXXetv avTrj; ttjv 
ifivaiv kcit eviavrov, eapo; Kai 0epov; ical %ei- 
p&vo;. Xeye<r0at S' avTijv icat YXav/c&Trtv, ov% 
&<nrep evtot t&v 'E XXqveov vve\a/3ov, airo tov 
tov; 6<f>0aXpov; e^eiv yXavicov; 1 tovto pev yap 
evi]0e; xnrdp^eiv’ aXX’ airo tov tov aepa ttjv 
vpoao\fnv 6%eti/ eyyXavKov. 

9 <&atrl Se tcu? irevTe 0eoii; tou? irpoetpTjpevovi; 
TTacrav ttjv oIkov pevijv eirnropeve<T0at, <f>avTa£o- 
pevov; t oh dv0p&Trot; ev iep&v £®a> v popcfrai;, 
e<TTi S' ore eis av0p&ircov ISea; tj tivcov aXXcov 
peTafidXXovTa;‘ icat tovto prj pv0&Se; virdpxetv, 
dXXa SvvaTov, elirep ovtoi irpex; dXrj0etav eltrtv 
oi TrdvTa yew&VTe;. icat tov ttoitjttjv Se et; 

10 Atyvi ttov irapafiaXovTa icat peTatrxdvTa irapa 
t&v tepeto v t&v toiovtco v Xoycov 0etvat ttov /cara 
ttjv iroirjatv t o irpoetpTjpevov &; ytvopevov, 
icat Te 0eot getvotaiv eoacoTe; dXXoSairotat 
iravToloi TeXe0ovTe; eTriaTpaxfi&at iroXrja;, 
dv0p&ircov vfiptv Te ica't v eaop&vTe;. 
riept pev ovv t&v ev ovpav& 0e&v icat yevetrtv 
atStov eaxwcoTtov TOcravTa Xeyovatv Alyvrntoi. 

13. “AXXov; S' iic tovtcov imyetov; yeveo 0 at 
tfiaatv, virdp%avTa; pev 0vtjtov;, Sta Se avvetrtv 
icat tcotvrjv dv 0 p&Trcov evepyeatav rereu^ora? ttj; 
d 0 avatrta;, &v evtov; ical ( 3 aatXet; yeyovevat /cora 
2 ttjv AiyvirTov. pe 0 eppijvevopev(ov S’ avT&vTtva; 
pev dpmvvpov; virapxetv Tot; obpavtot;, Ttva; 
S' IStav iaxpicf-vai irpofftjyoptav, ' HXioi/ re icat 

BOOK I. i2. 7-13. 2 

Another name given her was Tritogeneia (Thrice- 
born), because her nature changes three times in 
the course of the year, in the spring, summer, and 
winter. They add that she is also called Glaucopis 
(Blue-eyed), 1 not because she has blue eyes, as some 
Greeks have held—a silly explanation, indeed—but 
because the air has a bluish cast. 

These five deities, they say, visit all the inhabited 
world, revealing themselves to men in the form of 
sacred animals, and at times even appearing in the 
guise of men or in other shapes ; nor is this a fabulous 
thing, but possible, if these are in very truth the 
gods who give life to all things. And also the poet, 
who visited Egypt and became acquainted with such 
accounts as these from the lips of the priests, in some 
place in his writings 2 sets forth as actual fact what 
has been said: 

The gods, in strangers’ form from alien lands, 
Frequent the cities of men in ev’ry guise, 
Observing their insolence and lawful ways. 

Now so far as the celestial gods are concerned 
whose genesis is from eternity, this is the account 
given by the Egyptians. 

13. And besides these there are other gods, they 
say, who were terrestrial, having once been mortals, 
but who, by reason of their sagacity and the good 
Services wliich they rendered to all men, attained 
immortality, some of them having even been kings 
in Egypt. Their names, when translated, are in 
some cases the same as those of the celestial gods, 
while others have a distinet appellation, such as 

1 This common epithet oi Athena in Homer is more 
generally taken to mean “ gleaming-eyed.” 

* Odyssey 17. 485-7. 



Kpovov Kal 'P eav, en Se Aia tov vito tivoov 

v Appu>va trpoaayopevopevov, 77750? Se toi/toi? 

"Hpav Kal "Utpaiarov, eri S' 'EaTtav /cal reXev- 
ralov 'Epprjv. Kal trp&rov pev r/ H\toi> fiaaiXev- 
aai t&v Kar AHyvmov, op&vvpov ovra t& «<xt 

3 ovpavov a<TTp(p. evioi Se t&v iepeeov <f>aat 
TTp&rov "Hcj>ai(TTOV /3aai\evaai, tropos evpetr)V 
yevopevov Kal Sia ttjv ev^ppatiav tavrpv 
TvyovTa Ttjs f/yepovla ?• yevopevov yap ev Tot? 
opeai KepavvofioXov SevSpov Kal Ttjs tr\t)aiov 
v\i ;? Kaopevrjs trpoaeXdovTa TOv"U(j)aiaTov Kata 
rfjv %eipepiov &pav rjadtjvai Sta<f>epovTu>s em t fj 
deppaaia, XrjyovTos Se tov trv t 009 ael Trjs v\r)s 
etrt^dXXeiv, Kal tovtoo t& Tpotrrp SiaTTjpovvTa 
to trvp trpoKaXeladai 1 tou? aXKovs d.vdpa>irovs 

4 trpos tt)v ei; avTov yivopevtjv evxPV^Tiav. peta 
Se TavTa tov Kpovov cipijai, Kal yrjpavTa t ryv 
dSe\<f>r]V 'P eav yevvr)aai KaTa pev t ivas t&v 
pvdoXoycov “Oaipiv Kal *Icrti', Katd Se tovs 
trXeiaTovs Aia Te Kal "H pav, 009 St dpeTtjV 
ftaaiXevaai tov avptravTos Koapov. Ik Se 
tovtcov yevkadai treme deovs, KaO' eKaaTrjv t&v 
eiraryopevcov trap’ Alyvtniois trkvd’ f/pep&v evos 
yevvt]devTo<;• ovopata Se vtrdp^ai toZ?^ TeKvai- 
8eiaiv “Oaipiv Kal 'laiv, Uti 8e Tv<f>&va Kal 

5 ’At roWwva Kal ' A^poSitrjv ^ Kal tov pev "Oaipiv 
pedepprjvevopevov eivai Atovvaov, tt)v Se laiv 
eyyiata ircos Ar/ptjTpav. taxnpv Se yppavta tov 
'lOaipiv Kal Tpv fiaaikeiav SiaSe^dpevov troWd 
trpai-ai trpos evepyeaiav tov koivov ftiov. 

14. Tlp&TOV pev y ap traha ai t r\s d\\r]\o<f)ayia<s 

1 irpo*aX«ur0ai Dindorf : irpoaKaXtUrBai. 


BOOK I. 13. 2-14. 1 

Helius, Cronus, and Rhea, and also the Zeus who is 
called Ammon by some, and besides these Hera and 
Hephaestus, also Hestia, and, finally, Hermes. 
Helius was the first king of the Egyptians, his name 
being the same as that of the heavenly star. 1 Some 
of the priests, however, say that Hephaestus was 
their first king, since he was the discoverer of fire 
and received the rule because of this service to 
mankind; for once, when a tree on the mountains 
had been struck by lightning and the forest near by 
was ablaze, Hephaestus went up to it, for it was 
winter-time, and greatly enjoyed the heat; as the 
fire died down he kept adding fuel to it, and while 
keeping the fire going in this way he mvited the 
rest of mankind to enjoy the advantage which 
came from it. Then Cronus became the ruler, and 
upon marrying his sister Rhea he begat Osiris and 
Isis, according to some writers of mythology, but, 
according to the majority, Zeus and Hera, whose 
high achievements gave them dominion over the 
entire universe. From these last were sprung five 
gods, one bom on each of the five days which the 
Egyptians intercalate; 2 the names of these children 
were Osiris and Isis, and also Typhon, Apollo, and 
Aphrodite; and Osiris when translated is Dionysus, 
and Isis is more similar to Demeter than to any 
other goddess; and after Osiris married Isis and 
succeeded to the kingship he did many things 01 
service to the social life of man. 

14. Osiris was the first, they record, to make man- 

2 The^gyptians used a calendar of twelve months of thirty 
days each, With five days intercalated at the end of the year. 
Cp. ohap. 50. 



TO rebv av6p(biTO>v yevos, evpovarjs pev “hnSos 
t ov re rov 7 rvpov Kal rjs K^idjs Kapirov, tfivo- 
pevov pev to? 6 tu%6 /cara rrjv x<t>pav perti rjs 
aXXrjs fiordvrjs, ayvoovpevov Se viro rdtv dvdpw- 
7 T(ov, rov Se ’0aipiSos emvorjaapevov Kal rrjv 
rovreov Karepyaaiav ra>v Kapirav, jSetos pera- 
Qeadai rravras rrjv rpo<pr]v Sta re rfjv jSovjv rjs 
<f>vaeo>s rS>v evpedevnov Kal Siti, ro 4>aive<jdai 
trvpHpepov vrrdpxeiv aixe^eaOai rjs Kar’ aXXrjXiov 

2 dypcnrjros- paprvpiov Se (pepovai rjs evpeaetos 
rS>v elp-ijpeveov Kapir&v ro rrjpovpevov irap 
avrois e£ ap^aieov vopipov en ytip Kal vvv 
Karti rov depiapiov toi)? irpcbrovs aprjdevras 
<7Ta%ns devr a? toi/? avdpdnrovs KoirreoQai rrXrj- 
aiov rov Spdyparos Kal rrjv 'laiv dvaxaXeladai, 
Kal rovro irparreiv npjv drrovepovras rj), 6e& 
r&v euprjpevwv Karti rov eg apxjs rjs evpeaeeos 

3 xaipov. irap' evlais Se ra>v iroXecov Kal r ot? 
’I< 76 tot? ev rfj rroprrj perti rdtv aXXwv <f>epea@ai 
kcu wvOpevas rrvpdtv Kal Kpiddtv, arropvr}p6vevpa 
rdtv e£ apxjs rj} Oeyt <piXorexvo>s evpedevratv. 
delvai Se <paai Kal vopovs rrjv *hnv , Kad' otis 
aAXjXois SiSovai toi)? avdpm-novs ro SiKaiov Kal 
rjs adeapov filas xal vfipetos iravaaaQai Siti 

4 rov arro rjs npwplas (fiofiov Sio Kal rovs 
rraXaiovs "EXXrjvas rrjv Ajpr/rpav deapo<f>opov 
ovopdfciv, &>? rebv vopiov rrpdtrov viro ravrr}s 

15. K rlaai Se ijjaai roi »j rrepl rov "Otnpiv 
rroXiv ev rj} 0 rjfiatSi rj Kar’ Aiyvrrrov eKa- 
roprrvXov, jv eKeivovs pe v eircbvvpov 7 TOijaai r rjs 
prjrpos, rov<i Se perayevearepovs avrjv ovopd^eiv 

BOOK I. 14. 1 - 15 . 1 

kind give up cannibalism; for after Isis had dis 
covered the fruit of both wheat and barley which 
grew wild over the land along with the other plants 
but was stili unknown to man, and Osiris had also 
devised the cultivation of these fruits, all men 
were glad to change their food, both because of the 
pleasing nature of the newly-discovered grains and 
bccause it seemed to their advantage to refrain from 
tlicir butchery of one another. As proof of the 
discovery of these fruits they offer the following 
ancient custom which they stili observe: Evcn yet 
at harvest time the people make a dedication of 
the first heads of the grain to be cut, and standing 
beside the sheaf beat themselves and call upon Isis, 
by this act rendering honour to the goddess for the 
fruits which she discovered, at the season when she 
first did this. Moreover in some cities, during the 
Festival of Isis as well, stalks of wheat and barley 
are carried among the other objects in the proces- 
sion, as a memorial of what the goddess so ingeniously 
discovered at the beginning. Isis also established 
laws, they say, in accordance with which the people 
regularly dispense justice to one another and are 
led to refrain through fear of punishment from 
illegal violence and insolence ; and it is for this reason 
also that the early Greeks gave Demeter the name 
Thesmophorus, 1 acknowledging in this way that 
she had first established their laws. 

15. Osiris, they say, founded in the Egyptian 
Thebaid a city with a hundred gates, which the men 
of his day named after his mother, though later 
generations called it Diospolis, 2 and some named it 

1 Law-giver. * City of Zeus* 



2 Aio? 7 toXiv, evlovs Se ®j/3as. ap<j)ia^r]TeiTai 8 
ij KTiais tt)? 7r6\eo>? TavTijs ov poyov nrapa tois 
avyypatfievaiv, aXXa xal nrap’ avrois tois xaj 
hlyvTTTov iepevai• nroXXoi yap laTopovaiv, ov% 
viro to> v 7repi tov "Oaipiv xTiadpvai to? @rj$a?, 
aXXa nroXXois varepov erealv uno tivoj fiaaiXewS, 
nepl ov ra kutcl pepos ev tok olxeiois ypovois 

3 avaypdyfropev. iSpvaaaOai Se kcu tepov jcov 
yovewv Aio? re Kal "Epas d^ioXoyov t«5 re 
peyedei Kal rfj \onrfj noXvjeXeia, xal vaovs 
Xpvaovs Suo A io?, tov pev pei^ova tov oypaviov, 
tov Se eXaTTOva tov /SeftaaiXevKOTOS Kal iraTpo<i 

4 avTcov, ov Tives “Appoova xaXovat. xaTa- 
axevaaai Se xal twv aXXcov 6e5)v to>v n poeiprjpe- 
vcov vaovs ^poffoo?, a>v exaaTcp Tipas anoveipai 
xal KaTaaTtjaai tovs enripeXopevovs tepels. npo- 
TipaaOai Se nrapa T<p 'OaipiSi Kal Tp "IitiSi tou? 
ra? Te\vcK avevpiaxovTas rj pedoSevovT as ti twv 

6 XPWWW SiOTre/5 ev t rj ®r)J3atSi x^Kovpyeiuv 
evpedevTtov Kal XP VITe ^ (ov onXa Te xaTaaxeva- 
aaaffai, Si wv Ta 6rjpla KTeivovTas Kal yrjv 
epyafypevovs cjuXoTipcos egrjpepwaai tt)V x^P av ’ 
aydXpaTa Te xal xpvaovs vaous xaTaaxevaaaaOai 
twv 6ea>v Sian penels. 

6 TeveaOai Se xal (jnXoyecopyov tov "Oaipiv, /cal 
Tpa<j>fjvai pev tt)s evSaipovos ' Apafiias ev Noa-j; 
nXrjaiov Alyvmov, Aios ovTa* iraiSa, xal tt)v 
nrpoarjyopiav ex eiv 7ra P“ tois JLXXrjaiv ano Te 
tov 7 raTpos xal tov tottov Aiovvaov ovopaa- 

7 OevTa. 1 pepvrjaOai Se Trjs Nvarjs xal tov 

1 oio^aaOfvTa Vogel: yeTovoyaaBtvra F, Bekkor, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 15. 1-7 

Thebes. There is no agreement, however, as to 
when this city was founded, not only among the 
historians, but even among the priests of Egypt 
themselves; for many writers say that Thebes was 
not founded by Osiris, but many years later by a 
certain king of whom we shall give a detailed account 
in connection with his period. 1 Osiris, they add, 
also built a temple to his parents, Zeus and Hera, 
which was famous both for its size and its costliness 
in general, and two golden chapels to Zeus, the 
larger one to him as god of heaven, the smaller one 
to him as former king and father of the Egyptians, 
in which role he is called by some Ammon. He also 
made golden chapels for the rest of the gods men- 
tioned above, allotting honours to each of them and 
appointing priests to have charge over these. Special 
esteem at the court of Osiris and Isis was also 
accorded to those who should invent any of the arts 
or devise any useful process; consequently, since 
copper and gold mines had been discovered in the 
Thebaid, they fashioned implements with which they 
killed the wild beasts and worked the soil, and thus 
in eager rivalry brought the country under cultiva- 
tion, and they made images of the gods and mag¬ 
nificent golden chapels for their worship. 

Osiris, they say, was also interested in agriculture 
and was reared in Nysa, a city of Arabia Felix near 
Egypt, being a son of Zeus; and the name which 
he bears among the Greeks is derived both from 
his father and from the birthplace, since he is called 
Dionysus.® Mention is also made of Nysa by the 

1 The founder was a certain Busiris, according to ohap. 45. 

* A far-fetched etymology: Dio- (from Dios, the genitive 
form of the nominative Zeus) and Nysus {Nysa). 



TTOlTjTTjV BV TOt9 VpVOl<{, OTl irepi TTjV AiyVITTOV 
yeyovev, ev oh Aeyei 

eoTi Se Tt? Nua??, viraiov opo'; avdeov y\rj, 
rrjXov <J>on>i«*?9, oxeSov Alyinnoio poawv. 

8 evperrjv S’ ainov yeveoOai $aal Ttj<: apireXov 
Trepl Trjv Nfi oav, Kal tijv KaiepyaaLav tov laviqy 
Kapirov irpoaeirivorjaavTa irpanov oivw xprj- 
oaoOai, Kal SiSdgai toi>9 aXXovs av6pwirov<i iqv 
re efavielav t^9 dp,ireXov «ai iry XPW& ToS 
otvov «at rrjv ovyKOpuSrjv ainov «at Trjprjoiy. 

9 Tip.ao0ai S’ xn t ainov pdXiaia irdviwv t ov 

'Epp-rjv, Siatjioprp <j>voei Kexopvynpivov irpex 
iirivoiav twv Swafievwv d^eXrjoai t ov koivov 
fitov. , , 

16. 'T 7 TO yap tovtov irpSnov pev rryv Te 
Koivrjv SidXeKTOV Siap0 pwdqvat «at iroXXa twv 
avwvvpwv Ti»%etv irpoaqyoplas, tijv Te evpeoiv 
t5>v ypapfidjwv yeveodai «at t a irepi Ta9 twv 
dewv Tipas «at Ovalas StaTa%^t-at- Trept T6 
t^9 twv aoTpwv Ta^6<»9 «ai Trept tt)9 twv ef>0oyywv 
dpp.ovia<s Kal tjivoew 9 toOtov irpwTOv yeveodai 
irapaTrjprjTrjv, Kal iraXaioTpas eypeTrjv yirap^ai, 
Kal t*79 evpv0pia<i Kal t^9 7repi to^ aai/ta 7rpe- 
irovorj<; irXaoews eiripeXqdrjvai. , Xvpav Te vev- 
pivrjv iroifjoai Tpi%opSov, piprjodpevov to9 kcit 
eviavTOV wpar Tpeh yap ainov virooTijoaodai 
d>0oyyov<;, o£vv «at fiapvv «ai /teaov, ofw p.ev 
d-ob t ov 0epovs, fiapiiv Se diro t ov geipAvo*, 
2 peoov Se diro tov eapo<;. Kal tou9 EXXrjva<; 
SiSutjai tovtov to irepi ttjv epprjveiav, virep wv 

5 * 

BOOK I. 15. 7-16. 2 

poet in his Hymns, 1 to the effect that it was in the 
vicinity of Egypt, when he says : 

There is a certain Nysa, mountain high, 

With forests thick, in Phoenici afar, 

Close to Aegyptus’ streams. 

And the discovery of the vine, they say, was made 
by him near Nysa, and that, having further devised 
the proper treatment of its fruit, he was the first to 
drink wine and taught mankind at large the culture 
of the vine and the use of wine, as well as the way to 
harvest the grape and to store the wine. The one 
most highly honoured by him was Hermes, who was 
endowed with unusual ingenuity for devising things 
capable of improving the social life of man. 

16. It was by Hermes, for instance, according to 
them, that the common language of mankind was 
first further articulated, and that many objects which 
were stili nameless received an appellation, that the 
alphabet was invented, and that ordinances regard- 
ing the honours and offerings due to the gods were 
duly established; he was the first also to observe 
the orderly arrangement of the stars and the har- 
mony of the musical sounds and their nature, to 
establish a wrestling school, and to give thought to 
the rhythmical movement of the human body and 
its proper development. He also made a lyre and 
gave it three strings, imitating the seasons of the 
year; for he adopted three tones, a high, a low, 
and a medium; the high from the summer, the low 
from the winter, and the medium from the spring. 
The Greeks also were taught by him how to expound 
(kermeneia) their thoughts, and it was for this reason 
1 Homerie Hymne 1. 8-9. 



'Epfirjv avTOV wvopdadai. xado\ov Se tov<s 
irepl tov “Oaipiv tovtov eyovra? lepoypappaTea 
a-iravT avTtp nrpoaavaKOivovadai Kai pdXtaja 
V ptjaOai TV) TOVTOV aV p(3oV~Xia • Kai 

Se t b cpvTov avTOV evpeiv, aW ovk A Orjvav, 
manrep "EW»jves (paai. > , 

17. Tov Se ”Oaipiv Xeyovaiv, wanrep evepyeTiKOv 
ovTa Kai cf>iXoSo%ov, aTpaToveSov peya avaTijaa- 
adai, Siavoov pevov inreXdeiv anraaav tt)v oucovpe- 
vtjv Kai SiSdjjai to yevoi T&vdvdp&nrwv t r)v re 
•njs dpnreXov (pvTelav /eal tov anropov tov re 

2 t rvpivov Kai KpiOivov Kapnroir, vnroXapfidveiv 
ydp ainov oti tcavaat t»js aypioTryros tovi av- 
8 pconrov<s Kai SiaiTt)? rjpepov peTaXafteiv nroir)aa<s 
t ifiwv adavaToov Tevi^eTat Sid to peyedo? t »/s 
evepyeaia<i. onrep St) Kai yeveadar ov povov yap 
tov 9 KaT eKelvovi tov<s y povoy<s Ti/yovras t»}? 
S(opea<; navat)?, aXXa Kai nrdvna? tov? pena 
r avra enriyevopevov? Sia Ttjv ev Tai? evpeOeiaai? 
Tpo(f>ah ? yaptra tov? elatjytjaapevov? &? enri^ave- 
ananov? deov? TenptjKevai. 

3 Tov S’ oZv “Oaipiv <f>aai na /cara ttjv Aiyvnr tov 
KaTaaTT)aavTa Kai Ttjv t&v oXeov rjyepoviav 
“ Io-tSt Ttj yvvaiKi nrapaSovTa, TavTrj pev nrapa- 
KanaaTtjaai avpftovXov tov ~ Epjifjv Sta to 
(ppovrjaei tovtov Siacfrepeiv t&v aXXiov <f>iXa>v, 
Kai aTpaT7)yov pev dnroXinreiv anraatj? nt)? vcf> 
avTov ytopas ‘ Hpa«\ea yevei Te nrpoarjKOVTa Kai 
8avpa£opevov enr’ dvSpeia Te Kai awpano? piopt), 
enripeXtjTa? Se rafat t&v pev nrpo? <t>oiviKrjv 
KeKkipeviov pep&v Kai t&v enrl GaXamt) ronreov 
B ovaipiv, r&v Se /cara tt)v AWionriav Kai Ai/3vt]v 

BOOK I. 16. 2-17. 3 

that lie was given the name Hermes. In a word, 
Osiris, taking him for his priestly scribe, communi- 
cated with him on every matter and used his counsel 
above that of all others. The olive tree also, they 
claim, was his discovery, not Athena’s, as Greeks say. 

17. Of Osiris they say that, being of a beneficent 
turn of mind, and eager for glory, he gathered 
together a great army, with the intention of visiting 
all the inhabited earth and teaching the race of men 
how to cultivate the vine and sow wheat and barley; 
for he supposed that if he made men give up their 
savagery and adopt a gentle manner of life he would 
receive immortal honours because of the magnitude 
of his benefactions. And this did in fact take place, 
since not only the men of his time who received this 
gift, but all succeeding generations as well, because 
of the delight which they take in the foods which 
were discovered, have honoured those who intro- 
duced them as gods most illustrious. 

Now after Osiris had established the affairs of 
Egypt and tumed the supreme power over to Isis 
his wife, they say that he placed Hermes at her 
side as counsellor because his prudence raised him 
above the king’s other friends, and as general of 
all the land under his sway he left Heracles, who was 
both his kinsman and renowned for his valour and 
physical strength, while as governors he appointed 
Busiris over those parts of Egypt which lie towards 
Phoenicia and border upon the sea and Antaeus 
over those adjoining Ethiopia and Libya; then he 



'Avralov, ainov S’ e/c rfjs Alyvmov peTa t ?}? 
Svvd/ju-ta dva&vgai TTph ttjv OTpaTeiav, e%ovTa 
p.e6' avTOV Kal tov dSeXcfiov, ov oi E XXrfve 1 ; 

4 'AiroXXwva KaXovaiv. evperrjv Se /cal tovtov 
< paai yeveaOai tov cpvTOV T*J? Satpvrjs, r/v /cal 
TTepiTideaai tovtoj t& 0e& paXitna wavTe<s av- 
dpanrot,. tov Se kittov ttjv evpecnv avaTi0eaaiv 
'OaipiSi, /cal /cadiepovaiv av tov tovtw t$ 0eip, 

5 /caddirep /cal oi "E XXrjve<; Aiovvaw. /cal, KaTa 
TTjv AlyvnTLwv pev 1 SidXeKTOV ovop.a%ea0ai (paai 
TOV KITTOV (f/VTOV ’0<TlplSo<!, 7T pOK.£KpL(J0 ai Se T?/? 
apireXov tovtov 7t/3o? ttjv atjuepcocriv Sia to tt)v 
pev <f>vXXoppoelv, tov Se irdvTa tov xP° v ° v t 
aeidaXrj Siapeveiv oirep tov? iraXaiov/; /cai e<p~ 
sTepcov cf>v t&v dei 6aXXovTwv ireiroiTjKevai , ttj 
piev 'A/ppoSiTTj ttjv pvpaivpv, t& S AitoXXcovi 
ttjv Sd<f>VT)v tt pocrd-tyavTas. 2 

18. Tftj S’ ovv 'OaipiSi avveaTpaTeva0ai Svo 
Xeyovaiv vioi/<; "Avovfiiv Te Kal MaKeSova, Sia- 
QepovTas dvSpeia. dp<poTepov<; Se yprjaaadai rot? 
67rto”i7/iOTaTot? o7r\ot? a-rro tivcdv \(pa>v ov/c avoi- 
Keicov t fj irepl avTovt evToXpla' tov pev yap 
"Avovfiiv irepideaOai Kvvfjv, tov Se M aKeSova 
Xvkov T/poToprfV afi f)<; ama? Kal Ta %&a toCto, 

2 t ipr]0r}vai irapa toi? AlyvTTTioi<i. irapaXafieiv S 
eirl T-rjv cnpaTelav Kal tov Tlava, Siac^epovTayi 
vtto t&v AlyvTTTicov Tip.wp.evov tovtco yap t ov? 
eyxeopiovs ov pbvov dydXpuna TrerroirjKevai KaTa 
■jrav iepov, aXXa Kal ttoXiv e-n&vvpov KaTa ttjv 
®r)/3atSa, KaXovpevrjv pev vtto t&v eyx<opicov 
Xe/i/iiB, pe0epprjvevopevr}v Se IIavo? ttoXiv. avv- 
1 pkv Bekker, Vogel: omitted CF, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 17. 3-18. 2 

himself left Egypt with his army to make his cam- 
paign, taking in his company also his brother, whom 
the Greeks call Apollo. And it was Apollo, they 
say, who discovered the laurei, a garland of which 
all men place about the head of this god above 
all others. The discovery of ivy is also attributed 
to Osiris by the Egyptians and made sacred to this 
god, just as the Greeks also do in the case of Dionysus. 
And in the Egyptian language, they say, the ivy is 
called the “ piant of Osiris ” and for purposes of 
dedication is preferred to the vine, since the latter 
sheds its leaves while the former ever remains 
green; the same rule, moreover, the ancients have 
followed in the case of other plants also which are 
perennially green, ascribing, for instance, the myrtle 
to Aphrodite and the laurei to Apollo. 

18. Now Osiris was accompanied on his campaign, 
as the Egyptian account goes, by his two sons 
Anubis and Macedon, who were distinguished for 
their valour. Both of them carried the most notable 
accoutrements of war, taken from certain animals 
whose character was not unlike the boldness of the 
men, Anubis wearing a dog’s skin and Macedon 
the fore-parts of a wolf; and it is for this reason 
that these animals are held in honour among the 
Egyptians. He also took Pan along on his campaign, 
who is held in special honour by the Egyptians; for 
the inhabitants of the land have not only set up 
statues of him at every temple but have also named 
a city after him in the Thebaid, called by the natives 
Chemmo, which when translated means City of Pan. 1 

1 The god Min, being ithyphallic, was usually identified 
by the Greeks with Pan; cp. Herodotus, 2. 46. 

* rjj 8‘ 'MnH faalay added F, Bekker, Dindorf. 



eirecrdai Se «al T77S yempyiai epyeipiav exovra<i, 
•Hjs /tev irepl r tjv apireXov <f>vreiai M apcova, rov 
Si Kara rov crlrov criropov «at T77S o\t]<! avy «o- 

3 atSfc TpiirroXepov. irdvrcov 8’^ evrpeir&v ye- 

vopevwv rov "Oaipiv, ev^apevov rot? Peots 0pefeiv 
tt)v Kopijv P-eXP 1 6t ’ 5 A&yi«rT<w}>, rrjv 
iropeiav iroiei<T0ai St’ AlOtoirLar St’ 771/ ainai» 
^e'x/3t tcoj/ veonepmv xpovwv evtaxp aal T0 ire P i 
rfjs Kopys vopipov irap' Alyvrrrlo^, «ai rovi 
iroiovpevov; r as diroSypiai pexpi eis oi«oj/ 
avaKopiSys Koporpo<f>elv. , , 

4 w Ot»Tt 8’ avTW irepl rijv Aidiomav axoyvai 
\eyovai irpb<s avrov r o tojj< 'Zarvpwv yevos, ov s 
<baaiv eirl rrj<! o^iios exett» «o/tas. etvat 7«p 
rov "OaLpiv tfnXoyeXaird re «al x a ’ L P 0VTa : povaiKtj 
«al Yopois’ Sto «al irepidyecrdai irXydo<; pov- 
aovpymv, iv oU rrapOevow; ivvea Svvapevas adeiv 
«al «ara ra oUa ireiraiSevpeva s, ras, irapa 
Tois H E\\77(7tt» ovopa^opevas Movaar jovrwv S 
rtyeladai r ov 'AiroWava Xeyovaiv, d<f> ov, Kai 

5 Mooa777eT77i> aoTot» mvopaadai. rovs re Zarvpovi; 
Trpos opX r ) CTLV peXipSlav «al Trao-av at/eatt; 
«al iraibiav ornas ev 0 erov s irapa\rj<l> 0 fjvai 7 rpos 
Ti)v arpareiav oiiyap iroXepiKov eivai rov Oaipiv 
ov Se ira par tineis avvlaraaOai Kai kivSvvovs, are 
iravros efoou? ws ^eot» arroSe^o aera u Sta ra? 

6 evepyeaias. «ara 8£ AiOiomav SiSa^ayra 
roi-s av0pd>irovs rd irepl rrjv yewpyiav yal iroXeis 
d&oXoyovs Kriaavra KajaXiireiv rovseiripeXi)<ro- 
pevovs rrjs X<opas «al fopovs irpa^opevovs. _ ( 

19. Tootcov 8’ ovrcov irepl ravra, rov NeiXov 
fatn Kai a ri)v rov aeiplov atrrpov eiriroXrjv, 


BOOK I. 18. 2-19. 1 

In his company were also men who were experienced 
in agriculture, such as Maron in the cultivation of 
the vine, and Triptolemus in the sowing of grain 
and in every step in the harvesting of it. And when 
all his preparations had been completed Osiris made 
a vow to the gods that he would let his hair grow 
until his retura to Egypt and then made his way 
through Ethfopia; and this is the reason why this 
custom with regard to their hair was observed 
among the Egyptians until recent times, and why 
those who journeyed abroad let their hair grow 
until their retura home. 

While he was in Ethiopia, their account continues, 
the Satyr people were brought to him, who, they 
say, have hair upon their loins. For Osiris was 
laughter-loving and fond of music and the dance; 
consequently he took with him a multitude of 
musicians, among whom were nine maidens who 
could sing and were trained in the other arts, these 
maidens being those who among the Greeks are 
called the Muses; and their leader ( hegetes ), as the 
account goes, was Apollo, who was for that reason 
also given the name Musegetes. As for the Satyrs, 
they were taken along on the campaign because they 
were proficient in dancing and singing and every 
kind of relaxation and pastime; for Osiris was not 
warlike, nor did he have to organize pitched battles 
or engagements, since every people received him as 
a god because of his benefactions. In Ethiopia he 
instructed the inhabitants in agriculture and founded 
some notable cities, and then left behind him men 
to govem the country and collect the tribute. 

19. While Osiris and his army were thus employed, 
the Nile, they say, at the time of the rising of Sirius, 


ev o! xaipw pdXiaTa eUo6e vXrjpovaOai, payevTa 
xaTaxXvadL voXXrjv t> 7? AlyvvTov, xal paXuna 
tovto to fiepo<i iveXffeiv ov II popr)6ev<; et%e ttjv 
ivipeXeiav Biaj>dapevTwv Se <rxe8ov 
tojv tcarci ravTi^v ttjv X™P av ^p°M^ €a * ia 
T rjv Xvvrjv xivBvveveiv ixXLvetv tov /3lov exovaiox;. 

2 Bih Se t rjv otjvTrjTa xal tt)V fitav tov , xar- 
eve%0evT o? pevparo^ tov p.ev voTapov Astov 
ovopaaOrjvaL, tov B' 'H paxXea^ peyaXevlfioXov 
ovTa xal Tpv dvBpeiav i&XwxoTa, to re yevo- 
fievov exppypa Taneto? ipj>pd^a^ /eat tov 7 roTapov 

3 €7rt Trjv TrpovTrdp^aaav pv<nv airoarpe^raL, ^olo 
xal t5>v vap "EXXrjaL voirjT&v t iva? et ? /riltfov 
ayayeiv to vpa%0ev, «o? 'Hpa/eXeov? tov aeTOV 
avyprjxoTO ? tov to tov Iljoo/i^ea)? ^7r«p iaOiovTa. 

4 tov Se 7 TOTa/xov ap^atoraTOv pev ovopa axelv 
'ilxedvrjv, o? ecttlv kXX^vienl ilxeavos’ evena 
Sta to yevofievov exppypd fyaaiv ' Actov ovopaa- 
Orjvat, vtTTepov S’ AlyvvTov airo tov j3a<riXev- 
o-avTO? tt)? X“/° a? vpoaayopev0fjvar papTVpelv 
Se /eat tov voLrjTrjV XeyovTa 

o-Ttjaa S’ e’v Alyumcp voTapqi vea? apju.e- 

xaTa yap TrjV xaXovpevrjv ©wvtv ep/3aXXovTO? 
ei? OaKaTTav tov voTapov, tovtov tov tovov 
ipvopiov elvai to 7raXatov ttj? AiyvuTOV’ TeXev- 
T ata? Se Tin^etv avTOV vuv e^et vpoarjyoptat 
avo tov fjaaiXevaavTos NetXeco?. ^ ^ 

5 Tov S’ ovv "Oaipiv vapayevopevov ivi tov? 
tt)? AWiovta<! opov? tov voTapov ^ e£ dpj>OTepiov 
T<av p,€pS>v x^ ) P ,a(Tlv avdkafieiv, oxttb kcltu tt^v 


BOOK I. 19. 1-5 

which is the season when the river is usually at flood, 
breaking out of its banks inundated a large section 
of Egypt and covered especially that part where 
Prometheus was governor; and since practically 
everything in this (Sstrict was destroyed, Prometheus 
was so grieved that he was on the point of quitting 
life wilfully. Because its water sweeps down so 
swiftly and with such violence the river was given 
the name Aetus; 1 but Heracles, being ever intent 
upon great enterprises and eager for the reputation 
of a manly spirit, speedily stopped the flood at its 
breach and turned the river back into its former 
course. Consequently certain of the Greek poets 
worked the incident into a myth, to the effect that 
Heracles had killed the eagle which was devouring 
the liver of Prometheus. The river in the earliest 
period bore the name Oceane, which in Greek is 
Oceanus; then because of this flood, they say, it 
was called Aetus, and stili later it was known as 
Aegyptus after a former king of the land. And the 
poet also adds his testimony to this when he 
writes: 2 

On the river Aegyptus my curved ships I stayed. 

For it is at Thonis, as it is called, which in early 
times was the trading-port of Egypt, that the 
river empties into the sea. Its last name and that 
which the river now bears it received from the former 
king Nileus. 

Now when Osiris arrived at the borders of Ethiopia, 
he curbed the river by dikes on both banks, so that 

1 Eagle. 

* Odyasey 14. 258. 



nXijpoicnv ainov rrjv x < *P av prj Xipva^eiv irapa 
to crvpipepov, dXXa Sui tivoiv KaTeaKevaapevmv 
Bvp&v elcraepleuBai to pevpa npatos KaB' ocrov 

6 av $ XP e ' ia ' ® 7retTa TTOipaaaBai ttjv nopeiav 
Si ’A pafilas napa t tjv ’E pvPpdv BaXaTTav eois 

7 'IvSwv Kal tov irepaTOS t fjs oiKovpevrjS. KTicrai 
Se kcu iroXeis ovk oXiyas iv ’I vSois, ey ais Kal 
N vaav ovopacrai, ffovXopevov pvppelov dnoXineiv 
eicelvps Kaff fjv eTpdtpt) icar Aljvtttov. <pvTevcrai 
Se Kal klttov iv t fj irap' ’Iv8ot9 Nuar), kcu Sia- 
peveiv tovto to $vtov iv eKelvtp povqi t5 tottw 
t&v re Ka-ra tt)v 'IvSiKtjv Kal t fjv opopov %<upav. 

B noXXa Se Kal aXXa appela TrjseavTov napovcnas 
dnoXeXonrevai /ca t’ eKeivrjv Tyv X«»/Jav, 
npoaxOevTas t ovs peTuyevecrTepovs toiv I vboiv 

dp.<f>ur^r]Trja-cu tov Beov, XeyovTas IvSov eivai 
to yevos. , 

20 . TeveaBai Se Kal irepl tt)v toiv ekeepavTwv 
Bfjpav, Kal aTr/Xas navTaXov KaTaXiirelv 1 t fjs 
tSias arpareias. iireXBelv Se Kai TaXXa ra 
Kara t fjv 'AaLav eBvrj, Kal nepaioiBrjva^ Kara 

2 tov 'EXXpcnrovTOV eis ttjv EvpwTTTjv. Kal Kara 
pev t t)v ®paKT]v AvKovpyov tov fiaaiXea toiv 
ftapfiapoiv ivavTiovpevov t ois vir' avTOV irpaT- 
t opevois airoKTelvai, M apoiva Se yppaiov rjSrj 
KaBeaTWra KaTaXnrelv entpeXrjTrjV twv iv tovttj 
T fj x^PV <fivTevopevoiv, Kal KTiarrjv avrov noifjaai 
rrjs iirwvvpov nobeois, fjv ovopacrai Mapcbveiay. 

3 Kal MaKeSova pev tov viov dnoXitreiv fiacriKea 

Trjs an iKeivov TrpocrayopevBeiuijS M aiceSoviusi 
TpnrToXepo) S’ tTTiTpefai t as «ara ttjv ^Attikijv 
yeaipylas. t eXos Se tov "O<npiv ndaav ttjv 


BOOK I. 19. S-20. 3 

at flood-time it might not form stagnant pools over 
the land to its detriment, but that the flood-water 
might be let upon the countryside, in a gentle flow 
as it might be needed, through gates which he had 
built. After this he continued his march through 
Arabia along the shore of the Red Sea 1 as far as 
India and the limits of the inhabited world. He also 
founded not a few cities in India, one of which he 
named Nysa, wishing to leave there a memorial of 
that city in Egypt where he had been reared. He 
also planted ivy in the Indian Nysa, and throughout 
India and those countries which border upon it the 
piant to this day is stili to be found only in this 
region. And many other signs of his stay he left 
in that country, which have led the Indians of a later 
time to lay claim to the god and say that he was by 
birth a native of India. 

20. Osiris also took an interest in hunting elephants, 
and everywhere left behind him inscribed pillars tell- 
ing of his campaign. And he visited all the other 
nations of Asia as well and crossed into Europe at 
the Hellespont. In Thrace he slew Lycurgus, the 
king of the barbarians, who opposed his undertak- 
ings, and Maron, who was now old, he left there to 
supervise the culture of the plants which he intro- 
duced into that land and caused him to found a city 
to bear his name, which he called Maroneia. Mace- 
don his son, moreover, he left as king of Macedonia, 
which was named after him, while to Triptolemus he 
assigned the care of agriculture in Attica. Finally, 
Osiris in this way visited all the inhabited world and 

1 Not the present Red Sea, but the Persian Gulf and the 
Indian Ocean._ 

1 kcltclXiitciv navTa^ov Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 



ohcovpevrjv etreXdovta tov koivov /3iov Tot? r)pe- 
4 pwTtzTOi<; Kaptrok evepyeTtjaai. ei Se Tt? yfP a 
to <f>VTOV ttj? dptreXov prj trpoaSeX OLTO > SiSal-ai 
to eic rrjv /cpiffrjs KaTaaKevatypevov tropa, \eitro- 
pevov ov troKv Trjs trepl tov olvov evcoSias re tcai 
6 Svvape oj ?. eiraveXdovTa S’ ek ttjv KiyyirTov 

avvatroKopiaai Swpd re travraxodev ra k par tara 
kcu Sia to peyedo? twv evepyeaiav o-vptre<f>avr]- 
pevtjvXafieiv trapa traai tijv ddavaaiav /eai Tt)y 
6 larjv Tok ovpav'ioi<; TiprjV. peTa Se tcivt * el; 
avBpdirav ek 6eoi)? peTaatavTa tvx^iv vito 
"Io-tSos tcai 'E ppov Ovai&v /ccu t&v aXXwv t5>v 
eTTHpaveo-TaTUV TipStv. toutou? Se icai TeXeTas 
KaTaSei%ai Kal troXXa pvaTiKa^ eiar)yr)<raa6ai, 
peyaXvvovTas tov 6eov tt]V Svvapiv, 

21. Iwv S' iepewv trepl Trjv 'OalpiSov yeXevTfc 

eg dpxaicov ev airoppr)TOi<; trapeiXrjrpOTiov, T<p 

Xpova troTe trvveftr] Sid tivoov ek tovs ttoXXovs 

2 e%evex@yva.i to aiwtrdpevov. <f>aal yap vopipo >9 
fiaaiXevovTa tt?9 Aiyvtnov tov "Oaipiv vt ro 
T v<f>a>vo$ dvaipedrjvai t aSeXipov, fiiaiov icai 
aaeftovs ovtov ov SieXovTa to crapa tov <povev- 
OevTOS ek e£ Kal eitcocn peprj Sovvax t5>v <tv vetride- 
peviov exdaTO) pepiSa, /3ov\opevov traVTai peTaa- 
Xeiv tov pvaov<i, Kal Sia tovtov 1 vopi&vja 
avvaycoviaTas e£eiv Kal <f>v\a/eas tt?? {3aaiXeja<; 

3 fiefiaiovi. t rjv Se *laiv dSeX<f>r)v ovaav Ocnpi- 
So? Kal yvvaka peTeXdeiv tov <f>ovov, avvayavi- 
fypevov tov traiSos auT»?9 "Hpov, dveXovaav Se 
tov Tu< pava Kal tou ? avptrpa^avTa^ fiaaiXevaai 

4 t ??? AiyvtrTOV. yeveadai Se ttjv pax^v trapa 

1 tovtov Yogel: toOto Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 20. 3-21. 4 

advanced community life by the introduction of the 
fruits which are most easily cultivated. And if any 
country did not admit of the growing of the vine 
he introduced the drink prepared from barley, 1 which 
is little inferior to wine in aroma and in strength. 
On his return to Egypt he brought with him the 
very greatest presents from every quarter and by 
reason of the magnitude of his benefactions received 
the gift of immortality with the approval of ali 
men and honour equal to that offered to the gods of 
heaven. After this he passed from the midst of men 
into the company of the gods and received from 
Isis and Hermes sacrifices and every other highest 
honour. These also instituted rites for him and 
introduced many things of a mystic nature, magni- 
fying in this way the power of the god. 

21. Although the priests of Osiris had from the 
earliest times received the account of his death as a 
matter not to be divulged, in the course of years it 
came about that through some of their number this 
hidden knowledge was published to the many. This 
is the story as they give it: When Osiris was ruling 
over Egypt as its lawful king, he was murdered by 
his brother Typhon, a violent and impious man; 
Typhon then divided the body of the slain man into 
twenty-six pieces and gave one portion to each of 
the band of murderers, since he wanted all of them 
to share in the pollution and felt that in this way 
he would have in them steadfast supporters and 
defenders of his rule. But Isis, the sister and wife 
of Osiris, avenged his murder with the aid of her 
son Horus, and after slaying Typhon and his accom- 
plices became queen over Egypt. The struggle 
1 The Egyptian beer, called below zythos (chap. 34). 



ibv iroiapov -nX V viov ifjs vvv Avratov no>p. V s 
KaXovpevrjS, tjv nelvOai p.ev Xeyovvw ev iy icar a 
ttiv 'Apafilav pepei, iqv -npovqyopiav b eqeiv 
ano tov KoXavOevios v<p' Hpa/cXeovs, Aviaiov, 

B TOV tcaia it/v 'OvlptSos rjXiiciav yevopevov. TTjV 
8' ovv 'hnv -navia ia peprj tov a w paios nXfjv 
T &v alSoiotv dvevpelv 0ovXopev-tjv Se t V v tuv- 
8pbs Ta&rjv dSrjXov noirjvai nat npwpevqv napa 
■neuri tois TTjV Alyvmov KaToucovai, vvyieXevai 
to So£av TOi&Se tw iponw. enavi? imv fiepmv 
nepmXavai Xeyovviv avTrjv ivnov av0 pwnoeibr), 
napanXrjviov 'OvipiSi to peyeOos, apypaioiv 
6 nal KTjpov- elvna^evapevqv Se *aj« J €vr > T( f 
lepetov ePopnlvai -navias pnjSevi SrjXmveiv t V v 
8o0vvoaevqv aviols -niviiv, nai tSiav S e/caviois 
el-netv on p-bvois ineivo K napaiiOeiai iqv tov 
v&aaios t a<pvv, «al t&v evepyeviwv vnopv-pva- 

vav -napanaXevai 0 duravi as ev t ols iSiois Tonois 
io v&pa iifiav b>s 0ebv ibv^Oyipiv, naOiepwvai 
8e /cal t&v ytvofievwv nap' ainois £q>(ov ev onoiov 
&v /3ovX V 0&vi, nal tovt’ iv p.ev t& rt^ay, 
tcaJ0anep tcaX -npbiepov tov '‘Ovipiv, peia be ttjv 
TeXevTnv ifjs opolas eneiv? K-qSeias a^iovv.^ 

7 BovXoaevrjv Se TTjV ’I viv nal t y XvvueXei 
-npoTpeyfrav 0 ai t otis lepels e-ni t as npoeip-q^ 
pkvas Tip-ds, to t P Ltov fiepos irjs XW™ avT0K ) 
8 ovvai npbs t as t&v 0 e&v 0 epaneias ie nal 

8 XeiTovpyias. t obs S' lepels XeyeiaL, ^v V p.o - 

vevovias t&v * O vipiSos evepyevitov nat tt] -napa 

i Antaeus w a giant of Libya, the aon of Poseidon 

and Earth, who was slain by Heraclea (cp. Book 4. n. )- 
Cn to one veraion of the atory he recmved atrength 


BOOK I. 2i. 4-8 

between them took place on the banks of the Nile 
near the village now known as Antaeus, which, they 
say, lies on the Arabian side of the river and derives 
its name from that Antaeus, 1 a contemporary of 
Osiris, who was punished by Heracles. Now Isis re- 
covered all the pieces of the body except the privates, 
and wishing that the burial-place of her husband 
should remain secret and yet be honoured by all the 
inhabitants of Egypt, she fulfilled her purpose in 
somewhat the following manner. Over each piece 
of the body, as the account goes, she fashioned out 
of spices and wax a human figure about the size of 
Osiris; then suminoning the priests group by group, 
she required of all of them an oath that they would 
reveal to no one the trust which she was going to 
confide to them, and taking each group of them 
apart privately she said that she was consigning to 
them alone the burial of the body, and after remind- 
ing them of the benefactions of Osiris she exhorted 
them to bury his body in their own district and pay 
honours to him as to a god, and to consecrate to 
him also some one that they might choose of the 
animals native to their district, pay it while living 
the honours which they had formerly rendered to 
Osiris, and upon its death accord it the same 
kind of funeral as they had given to him. And since 
Isis wished to induce the priests to render these 
honours by the incentive of their own profit also, 
she gave them the third part of the country to defray 
the cost of the worship and Service of the gods. 
And the priests, it is said, being mindful of the 
benefactions of Osiris and eager to please the queen 
whenever he touched hia mother Earth and Heraclea over- 
came him only by holding him in the air. 




KaXovay fiovXopevowi %ap/£e<r#at, ^P 0 ^ ™ v ~ 

rot? tm' XvaiTeXel irpoicXr]6evTd<i, iraVTd^ irpa^ai 
0 Karh t> “IcnSo? viroOr,Kt]v. Stb /cal pe X pi tov 
vvv kKaa-rovt x 5>v Upetov v-rroXapfBaveiv irap 
eauxot? xe 8d<f>6cu tov ' J Ocnpw, iccu rd xe ef apXV < > 

KadiepmOkvTa ®a rcpdv, «al TeXevTycravTeov 

ainS>v iv xat? Taxeus dvaveovadai to tov Oaipiboc 

10 triv6o<t. Tovt 8e x avpovs tovv iepov<t, tov xe 
bvoua&pevov 'Amv * *al tov Mveviv, Oaipibt 
KaOiepvdrjvai, /cal xoi/xoi/? tre^eadai Kadairep 
6eoi><; icoivfj /raxaSet^vat irdaiv Atyurmotr 

11 TavTa ydp tcL \&a xot? evpovai tov tov cutov 
Kapirov avvepyrjcrai paXiaTd ^ irpos xe tov 
tjirbpov Kdl T a? KOLvd<! dTrdvTcov e/c tt]<! yetopyids 

Se ’I alv <paai perb rijv ’Oa t>8o? 
TeXevTvv opoaai pnbevb<t dvbpbc ex» avvovaiav 
irpoaE^eadat, 1 SiaxeXecrat Sk tov Xoittov tov 
ftiov XP° V0V ftacnXevovaav vopipurcna na^ xat? 
et? tov? dpxopevovs evepyeaiavi atrav xa? vyep- 

2 BdXXopivtjV. opoLax; Se Kdl TdVTrjy peTaoTaaav 
ei; avdpdytrcov TV X ew dOavaTUV TipS>v Kdi Taqyqvai 
«axa tt)v Meptfnv, oirov 8 eiicvvTcu ptypiray vvv 
6 ar\, virdpxcov iv tS> Tepevet tov UtpcuyTov. 

3 evioi Se' 6acnv ovk iv Mep<pei *e*afla* xa aa>paja 
tovtwv tS>v 6eS>v, dXX' iirl twv optov TtptAiBiovuK 
Kdl xt?v A lyviTTov KdTO. T7]V iv xffl NeiXip vyaov, 
iceipevrjv p'ev irpm xai? KdXovpevdvt 

1 Trpoaiii«reai Hertlein: irp o<r8f'{a<r8ai. _ 

* Though P the island of Philae, once “ the pearl ofEgypt, 
was a sacred place of early Egypt, the beautiful temples whioh 

BOOK I. 2i. 8-22. 3 

who was petitioning them, and incited as well by 
their own profit, did everything just as Isis had 
suggested. It is for this reason that even to this 
day each group of priests supposes that Osiris lies 
buried in their district, pays honours to the animals 
which were originally consecrated to him, and, 
when these die, renews in the funeral rites for them 
the mourning for Osiris. The consecration to Osiris, 
however, of the sacred bulls, which are given the 
names Apis and Mnevis, 1 and the worship of them 
as gods were introduced generally among all the 
Egyptians, since these animals had, more than any 
others, rendered aid to those who discovered the 
fruit of the grain, in connection with both the sow- 
ing of the seed and with every agricultural labour 
from which mankind profits. 

22 . Isis, they say, after the death of Osiris took 
a vow never to marry another man, and passed the 
remainder of her life reigning over the land with 
complete respect for the law and surpassing all 
sovereigns in benefactions to her subjects. And like 
her husband she also, when she passed from among 
men, received immortal honours and was buried near 
Memphis, where her shrine is pointed out to this day 
in the temple-area of Hephaestus. According to 
some writers, however, the bodies of these two gods 
rest, not in Memphis, but on the border between 
Egypt and Ethiopia, on the island in the Nile which 
lies near the city which is called Philae,* but is 

have made it so famous were constructions of the Ptolemies of 
the last two centuries B.o. and of the Roman emperors of the 
first three Christian centuries. Since the height of the Aswan 
dam has been increased the temples are completely submerged 
except during July-October. 



exovaav Se irpoapyopiav arro tov avp/3e/3r)KOToy 

4 iepov ireSlov. appeia Se tovtov SeiKvvovaiv ev 
t fj vr/atp tuvttj SiapevovTa tov re Ta<f>ov tov 
K aTe<JKevacrp,evov 'OalpiSi, KOivfj Ttptapevov viro 
TOiv KaT AlyvirTov lepewv, Kal t a? irepi tovtov 

5 Keipeva<: e^KOVTa Kal TpiaKoaia^ %oa?‘ Tawa? 
ydp Kad' iKarn-qv ppepav ya\aKTO<; irXrjpovv 
tovs 71710? tovtok TayOevTCK; lepei<s, Kal Oprjveiy 

6 avaKaXovpevovs t a t&v 6eS>v ovopaTa. Sia t av- 
Tt]v Se Trjv aiTiav Kal ttjv vrjaov Tavrrjv afiarov 
elvai Tot? irapiovtn. x Kal irdvTa<; t ou? ttjv 
® r]/3atSa KaT0iK0vvTa<;, rpirep itrrly ap^cuoTaTT) 
Trj<: AlyvTnov, peyicrTOV opKOV Kpiveiv, OTav Tts 
tov "Oaipiv TOV ev <K\at? Keipevov opoap. 

Ta pev oiiv dvevpedevTa tov 'OatptSot pepi) 
Ta<fir)s dljiu>0r)vai $aai tov elprjpevov t porrov, to 
Se alSoiov viro pev T vtf>S>vo<! et? tov iroTapov 
pupr/vai Xeyovai * Sia to ppSeva tmv avvepyrj- 
aavTiav avro Xa/3elv / 3ovXp0rjvai, viro Se rr)? IatSo? 
ovSev 7)ttov t5>v aXXiov dljuoOfjvai Tipav iaoOeiov 
ev T6 yap tok lepoi<; eiSwXov avTov KaTaaKevaaa- 
aav Tipav KaTaSeigai Kal KaTO. t a? tcXct a? Kai 
Tas OvaLas t d? tu> 6e& Toxrnp yivopevas evnpoTa- 
tov iroifjaai Kal irXeiaTOv oefiaapov Tvyydveiv. 

7 Sio Kal Tovi' EXXpvas, ei; Alyiimov Trapei\r)j>OTa<; 
T d trepl tov ? opyiaapovs Kal Ta? A tovvaiaicd<; 
eopTils, Tipav tovto to popiov ev Te tok pv<TTT)pioi<; 
Kal Tat? tov deov tovtov TeXeT at? T£ Kal QvaiaK, 
ovopd^ovTas avTO ipaXXov. 

1 rois irapiovfri Vogel, following nearly all the MSS. : 
roii Upevtn E, Bekker, Dindorf. 

* Kiyovvi deleted by Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 22. 3-7 

referred to because of this burial as the Holy Field. 
In proof of this they point to remains which stili 
survive on this island, both to the tomb constructed 
for Osiris, which is honoured in common by all the 
priests of Egypt, and to the three hundred and sixty 
libation bowls which are placed around it; for the 
priests appointed over these bowls fili them each day 
with milk, singing all the while a dirge in which they 
call upon the names of these gods. It is for this 
reason that travellers are not allowed to set foot on 
this island. And all the inhabitants of the Thebaid, 
which is the oldest portion of Egypt, hold it to be the 
strongest oath when a man swears “ by Osiris who 
lieth in Philae.” 

Now the parts of the body of Osiris which were 
found were honoured with burial, they say, in the 
manner described above, but the privates, according 
to them, were thrown by Typhon into the Nile 
because no one of his accomplices was willing to take 
them. Yet Isis thought them as worthy of divine 
honours as the other parts, for, fashioning a likeness 
of them, she set it up in the temples, commanded 
that it be honoured, and made it the object of the 
highest regard and reverence in the rites and sacri¬ 
fices accorded to the god. Consequently the Greeks 
too, inasmuch as they received from Egypt the cele¬ 
bratioris of the orgies and the festivals connected 
with Dionysus, honour this member in both the 
mysteries and the initiatory rites and sacrifices of 
this god, giving it the name “ phallus.” 1 



23 E Ivai Se erv fatrlv atro 'OaipiSos /cai 
ImSo? £0)? TVC 'AXe&vSpoy Pa<n\eia<! tov 
KTiaavToq ev AlyvTTTtp rrjv eir&vvpoy avTov ttoXlv 
•n-Xeito t&v pvpiav, w? S' evioi ypdtpovyri, fipa^v 

2 Xei-rrovTa r&v Siapvpiav Kal TpicryXlwv. tov? 
Se \eyovTas ev ©iftSai? tj)? BoitoTta? yeyovevai 
tov Oeov e k ‘Zep.eXrjs Kal Aios <f>aai axeSiaQeiv. 
'Qp&ea yap et? AtyvirTov Trapaj 3 a\ovTa Kal 
weraaybvTa tt)s reXerijr Kal t&v Ai ovvaiafov 
pvaTrjpia >v p£Ta\a/ 3 etv , 1 toZ? Se 2 KaS/xetoi? <f>i\ov 
ovra Kal Tip&pevov vtt' avT&v per aO eivai ^ tov 
Oeov Ttjv yeveaiv eKeivois x a P L &l lev ° v ' T0 *( ? ^ 
qvXov? Ta /tev Sid t^v dyvoiav, rd Se Sia to 
fiovXecrOai tov deov "E Wrjva vopi^eaOai,^ irpoa- 
SegaaOai -Kpoa^v&t t«? TeXeTa? Kal Ta^ pvar- 

3 Trjpia. dtyoppd? S' exetv tov ’0 p<f>ea 7rpo? Trjv 

/xeTaOeaiv t^? tov Oeov yeveaew Te Kai TeXeT??? 
TotavTa?. , , 

4 K dSpov eV @?;/3wv opto. twv Aiyv-rrTiwvyevvp- 
aai <rvv aXXoi? Te/cvoi? /cat "EepeXrjv, TavTyv Se 
v<f>' otov Srj-rroTe 3 tj>0apei<rav eyKVOv yevecrOai, 
Kal TeKelv evTa prjv&v SieXBovTiov fipetfros t?;v 
Sxfnv olovnep oi kut’ AiyvnTov tov "Oaipiv 
yeyovevai vopl&var faoyoveiaOai S' ovk eiadevai 
TO toiovtov, eiTe t&v Oe&v prj ^ovXopevav^ etre 

6 t^? </>vvea>? py o-vvxw/oovo-t;?. K dSpov S aiaOo- 
/xevov to 767ovo'?, Kal XPV°P° v eX° VTa oiaTypeiv 
T d t&v iraTepcov vopipa,, xpva&aai Te to $pe$o<i 
Kai Ta? KadrjKOvaas avT<o 7 roirjcraadat vvaias, 

i iteraXajSeii' Vogel: A E, Bekker, Dindorf. 

* Je Vogel: re D, Bekker, Dindorf. 

1 So Stephaniis : iirii tov S-fyiroTt. 


BOOK I. 23. 1-5 

23. The number of years from Osiris and Isis, 
they say, to the reign of Alexander, who founded |3£ 
the city which bears his name in Egypt, is over ten B " 
thousand, but, according to other writers, a little 
less than twenty-three thousand. And tliose who 
say that the god 1 was born of Semele and Zeus in 
Boeotian Thebes are, according to the priests, simply 
inventing the tale. For they say that Orpheus, 
upon visiting Egypt and participating in the initia- 
tion and mysteries of Dionysus, adopted them and 
as a favour to the descendants of Cadmus, since he 
was kindly disposed to them and received honours 
at their hands, transferred the birth of the god to 
Thebes; and the common people, partly out of 
ignorance and partly out of their desire to have the 
god thought to be a Greek, eagerly accepted his 
initiatory rites and mysteries. What led Orpheus 
to transfer the birth and rites of the god, they say, 
was something like this. 

Cadmus, who was a Citizen of Egyptian Thebes, 
begat several children, of whom one was Semele; 
she was violated by an unknown person, became 
pregnant, and after seven months gave birth to a 
child whose appearance was such as the Egyptians 
hold had been that of Osiris. Now such a child is not 
usually brought into the world alive, either because 
it is contrary to the will of the gods or because the 
law of nature does not admit of it. But when 
Cadmus found out what had taken place, having 
at the same time a reply from an oracle commanding 
him to observe the laws of his fathers, he both 
gilded the infant and paid it the appropriate sacri¬ 
fices, on the ground that there had been a sort of 
1 Dionysus. 



<bs em(j>avela<; Tivo<s kut dv0p&Trov<; ’OtripiSo<s 

6 yeyev V pev V <i. dvdyjrac Se Kal t>_ yevemv^ et? 
A ia> arefjLvvvovja top v O aipiP tcal ttJ? <f>uapeicry <? 
tt}v hiafioXyp a<f>aipovfievov• 810 /eat nrapa toU 
*E XXytriP cfchoOtjvaL Xoyop m y Ka&fiov ZepeXy 

T£T OK6V 6K AtO? “OffipiV. £V Se, TOtS VUTCpOV 
XPOVOKS ‘Op<t>ea, peydXrjv tyoPTa Sol;av irapA jo?<; 
" KKXrjaiv em, peXtpSia Kal TeXerah kcu OeoXojiau;, 
em^eva>0fjvai toI? KaSpeloa kcu Sia<f>ep6vTa><: 

7 ep rai 9 077/3 <u? Tip.t]6yvai. peTe^xv^oTa Se 
t&v 7 rap' Alyvmioi<! OeoXoyovfievmv pereveyKetv 
ttjv 'OaipiSo<! tov iraXcuov yeveaiv em tok? 
vea>Tepov<! XP° V0V<S > X a P l %°P‘ evov J°‘ s Ka8/ietots 
evaTqoaavai Kaivi/v TeXenqv, Ka0' yv 7 rapaSovvai 
TOi? pvovpevois <=k tepeXrj<s kcu Aio<;yeyevvfja0ai 
top Aiopvaop, tov$ 8 dp0po)7rov<i t a 

dyvoiav i%airaT<op.evov<i, t a 8e 8ia ttjv ‘Oppico? 
agiomanav Kal So£av ev to« toiovtok! irpoa- 
eX<>vTa<s, t o 8e peyurTOV rjSeo)? irpooSexop,evov<} 
top 0e'ov "EXXijva vopu&pevov, KaOairep irpoeiprj- 

8 rat, XPV (TarT ^ al Ta 'i' s TeXeials. eireira rrrapa- 
XafiovTWP t&v pvOoypa^oiv kcu ttoitjt&v t o 
yevo<s, epTreTrXfjcrOai t a Oearpa, Kal toc<s ejiycvo- 
pevoi ? loxvpav irlmiv Kal aperaOeTOV^ yevea&ai. 

Ka0o\ov Se <f>acn tov<s "EXXrjvas etjiSid&crffcu 
tov<s im^aveaTaTovi qpcods re Kal 0eov<s, en 
S’ airoiKiai t a? 7rap’ eav t&v. , . 

24. Kat 7<xp 'HpatfXea to 7<ri<o? Aiyvrnov 

1 t.e., an appearance in the flesk of a deity. Cp. Book 2. 

47. 6f., where it ia related that Apollo visited the Hyper- 
boreans every nineteen years at the time of the vernal 


BOOK I. 23. 5-24. 1 

epiphany 1 of Osiris among men. The fatherhood of 
the child he attributed to Zeus, in this way magni- 
fying Osiris and averting slander from his violated 
daughter; and this is the reason why the tale was 
given out among the Greeks to the effect that 
Semele, the daughter of Cadmus, was the mother of 
Osiris by Zeus. Now at a later time Orpheus, who 
was held in high regard among the Greeks for his 
singing, initiatory rites, and instructions on things 
divine, was entertained as a guest by the descendants 
of Cadmus and accorded unusual honours in Thebes. 
And since he had become conversant with the teach- 
ings of the Egyptians about the gods, he transferred 
the birth of the ancient Osiris to more recent times, 
and, out of regard for the descendants of Cadmus, 
instituted a new initiation, in the ritual of which the 
initiates were given the account that Dionysus had 
been born of Semele and Zeus. And the people 
observed these initiatory rites, partly because they 
were deceived through their ignorance, partly 
because they were attracted to them by the trust- 
wortliiness of Orpheus and his reputation in such 
matters, and most of all because they were glad 
to receive the god as a Greek, which, as has been 
said, is what he was considered to be. Later, after 
the writers of myths and poets had taken over this 
account of his ancestry, the theatres became filled 
with it and among following generations faith in the 
story grew stubbom and immutable. 

In general, they say, the Greeks appropriate to 
themselves the most renowned of both Egyptian 
heroes and gods, and so also the colonies sent out 
by them. 

24. Heracles, for instance, was by birth an 



ovTa, Bt' avBpeiav eireXdelv iroXXyv t»?? oIkov- 
pevrj 1 ,, /cal TrjV eirl t i)? Ai/3u»?? decrdai cnrfkrjv 

2 vire p ov ireip&VTai t a? aTroSei^ets irapa t&v 

'EXXrjvcov Xapfiaveiv. opoXoyovpevov yap ovt o? 
irapa iraertv oti toi? 'OXvpirLOtt 9 eois 'HpaicXr/s 
avvrjymvltraTO tov irpos t ovt yiyavTas iroXepov, 
<paal rfj yfj prjSap&s appoTTeiv yeyevvrjKevai t oi>? 
yiyavias /cara ryv r/XiKLav rjv oi "EXXtjpe? cpaaiv 
'H paicXea yeyei>r)a9ai, yevea irpoiepov t&v 

TpmiK&v, aXXa paXXov, io? avroi Xeyovat, /cara 
t rjv e£ apyfpi yevecnv t&v avdp&irasv air i/celvrjs 
pev yap irap' AlyvirTLOfi erq tcaTapidpeltrdai 
irXetas t&v pvpteov, airo Be t&v TpcoiK&v iXaTTO) 

3 t&v ftiXieov Kal Bia/cotrLav. opoLws Se t 6 Te 
poiraXov Kal Trjv XeovTrjv t& iraXaL& irpeireiv 
‘YLpaKXel Bia t o /cax’ e/ceivov; tovs xpovovs prprrai 
t&v oirXcov evpijpevtov tou? av9p&irovs toi? pev 
fuXoi? apvveaOai tov? avTnaTTopevovs, t at? Se 
Bopais t&v drjpiwv axeiraaTripLovi oirXois xprjadai. 
Kal Aio? pev viov avrov avayopevovtri, prjTpo ? Be 

4 rjs iaTLV ov (pavi yiv&OKeiv. tov S’ ef 'AXKptfvrjs 
yevopevov vmepov irXeiocnv eTeaiv rj pvpiois, 
'AXKalov €K yeveTT)? KaXovpevov, vcnepovllpaKXea 
peTovopaadfjvai, ovx ori SCEpav ea\e XXeo?, <o? 
(frrjiTLV o Marpi?, aXX’ oti t rjv avrpv e%r)X(OK&s 
irpoalpeoiv 'llpaKXel t$ iraXai& t rjv eKeivov 
B6%av apa Kal irpocrpyoplav iKXrjpovopTjoe. 

1 The Pillars of Heraclee are described in Book 4. 18. 4-7 

a Heraclee, accoraing to Greek mythology, was a con 
temporary of Laomedon, the father of Priam king of Troy 

and with the help of Poeeidon built for him the walle n 


BOOK I. 24. 1-4 

Egyptian, who by virtue of his manly vigour visited 
a large part of the inhabited world and set up his 
pillar in Libya; 1 and their proofs of this assertion 
they endeavour to draw from the Greeks themselves. 
For inasmuch as it is generally accepted that Hera- 
cles fought on the side of the Olympian gods in their 
war against the Giants, they say that it in no way 
accords with the age of the earth for the Giants to 
have been born in the period when, as the Greeks 
say, Heracles lived, which was a generation before 
the Trojan War, 2 but rather at the time, as their 
own account gives it, when mankind first appeared 
on the earth ; for from the latter time to the present 
the Egyptians reckon more than ten thousand years, 
but from the Trojan War less than twelve hundred. 
Likewise, both the club and the lion’s skin are 
appropriate to their ancient Heracles, because in 
those days arms had not yet been invented, and 
men defended themselves against their enemies with 
clubs of wood and used the hides of animals for 
defensive armour. They also designate him as the 
son of Zeus, but about the identity of his mother 
they say that they know nothing. The son of 
Alcmene, who was born more than ten thousand 
years later and was called Alcaeus 3 at birth, in later 
life became known instead as Heracles, not because 
he gained glory ( kleos ) by the aid of Hera, as Matris 
says, but because, having avowed the same principies 
as the ancient Heracles, he inherited that one’s fame 
and name as well. 4 

5 Alcaeus was the name of the grandfather of Heracles. 
The career of Heracles is recounted in Book 4. 9 ff. 

* The date of Matris, who was the author of an enoomium 
upon Heracles, is unknown. 



5 'Zvpufxovelv Se t019 v<f> eavTwv Xeyopevois xal 
t t]V irapd tois “EXXTjatv e« noXXcov xP ovcov 
T rapaSeSopevrjv <f}^pr)v, oti xaBapav t rjv yrjv twv 
O rjplwv eirolrjtrev^paxXrji ;• 07re/3 prjSapas appoT- 
reiv t£ yeyovoTi trxeSov Kcrra tovs Tp&>t«oii? 
Xfiovovs, ore t d 7rXe lara ^£/>»7 T779 olxovpevrjs 
el;T)p.epa>TO yecopylais xal iroXeai xal irXrjdei twv 

6 xaTOixovvTwv ttjv xupiiv Travra)(ov. pdXXov 
ovv irpeireiv tw yeyovoTi xara tolis ap^alovs 
Xpovov 9 rrjv Tjpepwoiv Trjs ^copas, KaTMTX. v °p.evwv 
en twv dvdpwirwv viro tov irXijBovs twv Orjplwv, 
xal pdXiOTa /cara tt)v AiyvvTov fjs 1 t r) v 
virepxeipevrjv xapav pL&XP 1 T0 ^ v ^ v eprjpov elvai 2 

7 «ai drjpiwSrj. elxos ydp TavTrjs w 9 ^ iraTplSos 
TTpovoT]8evTa tov 'H paxXea, xal xaBapav tt]v yfjv 
t wv drjplwv iroirjOavTa, irapaSovvai tois yewpyois 
Trjv xd>pcLV, xal Sia ttjv evepyealav t u^eti' laoQeov 

8 Tiprjs- (f>acrl Se xal tov Tlepaea yeyovevai xaT 
AiyviTTOV, xal tt)s ”I<7tSo9 ttjv yeveaiv viro twv 
'EXX qvwv eis "Apyos p,eTa<f>epea0ai, pvBoXoyovv- 
twv t rjv ’I&> tt}v eis /3oos tvttov peTapopipwOeio-av, 

25. KadoXov Se 1 roXXr] tis Sctti Siacfxovta irepl 
tovtwv t5>v dewv. tt]V av ttjv ydp ol pev ’I otv, 
ol Se Arjp-rjTpav, ol Se ®eo-p.o<p6pov, ol Se XeXrjvijv, 
ol Se "H pav, ol Se ir cur ais Tais irpoarjyoplais 

2 ovopa^ovai. tov Se v Oaipiv ol pev Xdpairiv, 01 
Se Aibvvffov, ol Se UXovTwva, ol Se “Ap.p.wva, 
Tives Se Ala, troXXol Se Ildva tov ainov vevo- 
plxatri' Xeyovai Se Tives lapairiv elvai tov irapa 
tois" EXXrjai UXovTcova ovopa^opevov. 

1 For fis Vogel reads «a! and retains olaav below. 

51 elvai Dindorf: olaav 


BOOK I. 24. 5-25. 2 

The account of the Egyptians agrees also with the 
traditlon which has been handed down among the 
Greeks since very early times, to the effect that 
Heracles cleared the earth of wild beasts, a story 
which is in no way suitable for a man who lived in 
approximately the period of the Trojan War, when 
most parts of the inhabited world had already been 
reclaimed from their wild state by agriculture and 
cities and the multitude of men settled everywhere 
over the land. Accordingly this reclamation of the 
land suits better a man who lived in early times, 
when men were stili held in subjection by the vast 
numbers of wild beasts, a state of affairs which was 
especiaTly true in the case of Egypt, the upper part 
of which is to this day desert and infested with wild 
beasts. Indeed it is reasonable to suppose that the 
first concern of Heracles was for this country as his 
birthplace, and that, after he had cleared the land of 
wild beasts, he presented it to the peasants, and for 
this benefaction was accorded divine honours. And 
they say that Perseus also was born in Egypt, and 
that the origin of Isis is transferred by the Greeks 
to Argos in the myth which telis of that Io who was 
changed into a heifer. 

25. In general, there is great disagreement over 
these gods. For the same goddess is called by some 
Isis, by others Demeter, by others Thesmophorus, 
by others Selenfe, by others Hera, while stili others 
apply to her all these names. Osiris has been given 
the name Sarapis by some, Dionysus by others, 
Pluto by others, Ammon by others, Zeus by some, 
and many have considered Pan to be the same god; 
and some say that Sarapis is the god whom the 
Greeks call Pluto. 



<t>a<rt 8’ AlyvTTTioi t r/v *I oiv <j>ap/j.aiccov re 
ttoXX&v 777209 uyletav ebpenv yeyovevai Kal ttji 
laTpiKiji emoTTjpi,rji p,eydXtjv e^eiv epnreipiav' 

3 8ib Kal TVj(pGaav ttji aOavaoiai enl Tali Oepa- 
irelati t&v dvOp&itwv ptaXiora palpetv, Kal Kara 
tovi vtrvovi Tol<s dgiovoi StSovat fioTjdTjpaTa, 
<j>avep&i eir iSetKW p-evrjv ttjv Te IBlav emfydvetav 
xal to 717209 tovi Seopevovi t&v avOponrwv 

4 evepyeriKov. dnoSei^en Se tovtcov (j>acrl <f>epetv 
eauTOUi ov ptvdoXoytai 6p,oiu>i toIi E XXtjoiv, 
dXXa irpd^eti evapyeli' iracrav ydp a^eSov ttjv 
olKovptevtjv paprvpelv eavToh, eh Tai rauTTji 
Tip.di <f>i\oTip,ovp.ev7}v 8ia ttjv iv Tali Oepairetaii 

6 eirufidveiav. «axa ydp tovi vnvovi e<f>i<na- 
ptevijv StSovat toI<s Kaptvovat fSorjdrjpKiTa npoi Tai 
vooovi, Kal tovi viraKouaavTai ainfj irapaSogcoi 
vyta^eoOat' Kal ttoXXovi p.ev viro t&v laTp&v 
Sta ttjv 8vo KoXtav tov voorjptaTOi atreXiria- 
OevTai utto TavTtji o&^ea9at, au^voui Se iravre- 
X&i TrtjputdevTai Tai opaoeti rj t iva t&v aXXorv 
ptep&v tov o&jiaTOi, ot av wpoi TauTtjv ttjv Oeov 
Karaffivywoiv, eh ttjv irpovirap^atrav dtrOKaOt- 

6 ot aoOat Ta%tv. evpelv 8' avTTjv Kal to ttji 
ddavaoiai <f>app.aKov, St ov tov vlov T Qpov, utto 
t&v Tndvoiv eTrifiovXevffevTa Kal veKpov evpe- 
6evra KaO' vSaroi, ptTj ptovov dvaoTrjoat, Sovoav 

1 A reference to the common practioe of incubation, briefly 
described below. Tiie patients spent the nights in the 

temple-precincts and were ministered to in their sleep by 
the god. An interesting picture of such an incubation is in 

BOOK I. 25. 2-6 

As for Isis, the Egyptians say that she was the 
discoverer of many health-giving drugs and was 
greatly versed in the Science of healing; conse- 
quently, now that she has attained immortality, she 
finds her greatest delight in the healing of mankind 
and gives aid in their sleep 1 to those who call upon 
her, plainly manifcsting both her very presence and 
her beneficence towards men who ask her help. In 
proof of this, as they say, they advance not lcgends, 
as the Greeks do, but manifest facts; for practically 
the entire inhabited world 2 is their witness, in that 
it eagerly contributes to the honours of Isis because 
she manifests herself in healings. For standing above 
the sick in their sleep she gives them aid for their 
diseases and works remarkable cures upon such as 
submit themselves to her; and many who have been 
despaired of by their physicians because of the diffi- 
cult nature of their malady are restored to health 
by her, while numbers who have altogether lost the 
use of their eyes or of some other part of their 
body, whenever they turn for help to this goddess, 
are restored to their previous condition. Further- 
more, she discovered also the drug which gives im¬ 
mortality, by means of which she not only raised 
from the dead her son Horus, who had been the 
object of plots 011 the part of the Titans and had 
been found dead under the water, giving him his 

Aristophanes, Plutus, 659 ff., where a deBcription is giveu of 
how the god of wealth, who because of his blindness dis- 
tributes his gifts with little discrimination, is taken to tho 
temple of Asclepius to be healed. 

* Under the inSuence of the Ptolemies, soon after 300 B.O., 
the cult of Isis began to Bpread over the Mediterranean, and 
by the time of Diodorus was in practically every city of any 



rrjv ■fyvxtfv, aXXa Kal rfj<! adavaalas rroifjaai 

7 peraXafteiv. SoKei S’ voraro<; r&v 0e&v oCtov 
fiaoiXevoai pera rrjv rovrrarpb<! ’0 aipiSos ef 
dv0p&rrasv perdoracnv. rov Se 'Opov pe0eppij- 
vevopevov (jiaoiv 'ArrbXXtova vrrdp^eiv,^ Kal rrp> 
re larpiKrjv Kal rrjv pavriKrjv viro rfjs pyrpos 
'IfftSo? BiBaxOevra Sia r&v xPVfPd>v Kal ra>v 

0eparrei&v evepyereiv ro t&w dv0p&rro)vyevo<;^ 

26. 01 S' lepei<s r&v Aiyvrrritov rov xP°v° v 
diro tj?? 'HXtou j3aoiXeia<; ovXXoyi&pevoi pexP 1 
rfj<; ’ AXe^avSpov Biaftdaeax; el<s rrjv ' Aaiav tfraoiy 
vrrapx^v ir&v paXiara ttw? Siapvpiaw Kai 

2 rpiax^Xirov. pv0oXoyovai Se Kal r&v 0e&v rov<s 
pev apxaiordrovs fiaoiXevaai rrXeico r&v 

Kal SiaKoauov ir&v, rov<s Se perayeveorepovs ovk 

3 iXarrw r&v rpiaKoaiwv. drriarov S’ ovro<: rov 
rrXrj0ov<; r&v ir&v, emxeipovoj rive<s Xeyeiy ori 
ro rraXaiov, ovrrto rrj<: rrepl rov rjXioy Kivrjaew 
irreyvwopevrj<;, avveftaive Kara rrjv , rr)<; aeXyvqv 

4 rrepioSov ayeo0ai rov iviavrov. Sibrrej) r&v ir&v 
rpiaKov0r)pepa>v ovrcov ovk aSvvarov eivai fiefiico- 
Kevai riva ? eri} YtXta Kal SiaKoaia • Kal yap vvv 
SosSeKapijvoiv 1 ovrosv r&v iviavr&v ovk oXiyov<s 

5 vrrep Uarov errj rraparrXrjota^ Se Xeyovoi 

Kal rrepl r&v rpiaKoaia errj Sokovvtwv ap%ai’ 
Kar iKeivov<t ydp r ow XP° V0V<! T ° v , iviavrov 
arrapri^ea0ai rerrapoi prjal rols yivopevovijcard 
ra<: eKaartov r&v yaovav &pa<;, olov eapo<s, 
0epov<;, xeip&>W ^ airtai^Kal rrap iviois 
r&v 'EXXrjVOiv rov<; eviavrow &pov<} KaXelo0ai 

1 SutfKttIlii’’"” Dindorf: SvoxalSexa /irprar. 


BOOK I. 25. 6-26. 5 

soul again, but also made him immortal. And it 
appears that Horus was the last of the gods to be 
king after his father Osiris departed from among 
men. Moreover, they say that the name Horus, 
when translated, is Apollo, and that, having been 
instructed by his mother Isis in both medicine and 
divination, he is now a benefactor of the race of 
men through his oracular responses and his healings. 

26. The priests of the Egyptians, reckoning the 
time from the reign of Helius to the Crossing of S3» 
Alexander into Asia, say that it was in round num- 
bers twenty-three thousand years. And, as their 
legends say, the most ancient of the gods ruled more 
than twelve hundred years and the later ones not 
less than three hundred. But since this great num- 
ber of years surpasses belief, some men would main- 
tain that in early times, before the movement of the 
sun had as yet been recognized, it was customary 
to reckon the year by the lunar cycle. Consequently, 
since the year consisted of thirty days, it was not 
impossible that some men lived twelve hundred 
years; for in our own time, when our year consists 
of twelve months, not a few men live over one 
hundred years. A similar explanation they also 
give regarding thosc who are supposed to have 
reigned for three hundred years; for at their time, 
namely, the year was composed of the four months 
which comprise the seasons of each year, that is, 
spring, summer, and winter; and it is for this reason 
that among some of the Greeks the years are called 



tcai t as icar exo? dvaypa<f>ds dypoypacplas irpoaa- 

6 Oi 8’ ovv AiyvnTioi p,v9oXoyovai /taxa tj/v 
"Ia-tSo? rjXiKiav yeyovevai -rivas iroXvaa>p,dTOVs 
tovs viro /tei> tcSv 'EXXrfvwv ovop,a£op,evovs yi- 
yamas, v<p’ eavT&v Se . . - 1 Staicoap.ovp.evovs 
TepaTiaStbs eVl t&v iepmv tcai Tvmofievovs viro 

7 t&v -rrepl tov "Ocnpiv. evioi piev ovv ainovs 
yrjyevels efraaiv virdp%ai, irpoaejraTOV t rjs TO)v 
gaicov yeveaears eV ttjs yrjs virap^ova-qs, evioi 
8e Xeyovai arofiaros pd>p,y Sievey/covras Kal 
7 roXXas irpdgets eiriTeXeaapievovs diro tov <rvp.fte- 

8 /3t)Kotos p,v9oXoyr]9rjvai iroXvaorpidTOvs. ovp,- 
(fxoveiTai Se irapa t ols irXelaiois on toIs -rrepl tov 
Ala Kal tov “Otripiv 9eois iroXepov evaTqadp^voi 
trdvTes avr)pe9r)crav. 

27 . Nopu>9eTr}<rai Se <f>a<rt tovs Atyv-rnlovs 
irapa to koivov e9os t5>v dv9pd)iroiv yap,elv 
aSeXefids Sia to yeyovbs ev tovtois ttjs “laiSos 
iirlTevypui' TavTrjv ydp avvotKijaaaav ’QcrlpiSi 
t a> dSeXtf>a>, Kal airo0avovTOs opoaaaav ovSevos 
en crvvovalav avSpos irpocrSe^ea0ai, 2 p,eTeX9eiv 
tov Te efrovov TavSpos Kal SicneXeacu /3aaiXevov- 
aav vopup,d>TaTa, Kal to avvoXov irXelaTuv Kal 
picylcrTcov aya95>v alnav yevea9ai iraaiv dv9pm- 

2 irois. Sia St) Tavras t as ainas KaTaSeix9rjvai 
puello vos i fovelas Kal Tipirjs Tvy xaveiv ttjv 
1 Vogel suggests that a noun haa dropped out here. 

* TntoirSf^errdai Dindorf: irpoa8e£atr0at. 

1 “ Recorda of the seasons.” Thia designation for yearly 

recorda waa used, for inatanco, by the inhabitante of the 

ialand of Naxos. 


BOOK I. 26. 5-27. 2 

“ seasons ” (horoi) and that their yearly records are 
given the name “ horographs.” 1 

Furthermore, the Egyptians relate in their myths 
that in the time of Isis there were certain creatures 
of many bodies, who are called by the Greeks 
Giants, 2 but by themselves . . these being the 
men who are represented on their temples in mon- 
strous form and as being cudgelled by Osiris. Now 
some say that they were bom of the earth at the 
time when the genesis of living things from the 
earth was stili recent, 3 while some hold that they 
were only men of unusual physical strength who 
achieved many deeds and for this reason were 
described in the myths as of many bodies. But it 
is generally agreed that when they stirred up war 
against Zeus and Osiris they were all destroyed. 

27 . The Egyptians also made a law, they say, 
contrary to the general custom of mankind, per- 
mitting men to marry their sisters, this being due 
to the success attained by Isis in this respect; for 
she had married her brother Osiris, and upon his 
death, having taken a vow never to marry another 
man, she both avenged the murder of her husband 
and reigned all her days over the land with com¬ 
plete respect for the laws, and, in a word, became 
the cause of more and greater blessings to all men 
than any other. It is for these reasons, in fact, that 
it was ordained that the queen should have greater 

* But the Giants of Greek mythology were represented 
with “huge,” not “many,” bodies. 

* Cp. Genesis 6. 4: “ There were giants in the earth in 
those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came 
in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to 
them, the same became mighty men, which were of old, men 
of rcnown.” 



(3aoikiaaav tov /3aen\ecos, /cal irapa to7s ISnurais 
/cvpievetv t yv yvvai/ca TavSpos, ev tt) Tys irpoi/cos 
avyypaef>y irpooopoXoyovvTeov t&v yapovvTtnv 
airavTa Trei0apxy<*eiv t jj yap.ovp.evT). 1 

3 Oii/c ayvow Se Sioti Tives t&v avyypatpecov 
airotf/aivovTat tovs Taef/ovs t&v Oecov tovtwv 
inrdpxeiv ev Nucn? Tys 'Apaftias, dtp’ ys /cal 
N veralov tov Aiovvaov oivopacrOai. elvai Se /cal 
OTykyv e/caTepov t&v 6e&v eiriyeypappevyv t ols 

4 iepots ypappaoiv. eirl pev ovv Tys “IffiSos em- 
yeypd(f)0ai “ ’Eya> 7 Ieris elpi y ftaotKteraa iraerys 
X&pas, y 7 TaiSev0eioa inro 'E ppov, /cal ocra eyo> 
evopa0eTyera, ovSels aina SvvaTat \verai. eyw 

1 Here ABDEN add: ratprjvai Se Xeyovtri rljv r laiv iv 
Mtptpei, xaO’ V pixP‘ tov vvv StUvatrOat rbv trr\xiv, iv t$ 
repevei tov 'Htpoitrrov. Ivtoi Se •patri ri trwpara twv Bewv 
roirwv [xeltrBai xara t V iv QlXais tov N elXov vrjtrov, Utrrep 
rrpoeipT)Tai poi added by A E N whieh stop at this point,, B D 
eontinuing] ir rl twv Spwv xettrBat T7JS AlBioxias «al TTjt Aiyvwrov 
xaTi tV iv Ttp NetXtp vritrov, tt)v xeiperriv pev ii rl raii QlKais, 
ix°vtrav 5i t6 rtpotrayopevipevov a iri toS trupPeBrixiros lepbv 
ir eSlov trripeTov Se tovtov Setxvbovtriv iv rrj vfitrtp Tavrri Sia- 
pevovra t6v Te t atpov xaretrxevatrpevov 'OtriptSi, xoivp Tip.wp.evov 
imb TWV xar' Atyvxrov Upiwv- xal tpatri rrepl tovtov xetpevas 
%o4j e(iiKovTa «ai rptaxotrtas■ t abras yap xaB' exitrrnv ripepa v 
y&AaxTos rrXripovv robs rrpbs robrois raxBevras iepeu x al Bprjyeiv 
ivaxaXovpevovs ri twv B.wv ovipara. Sii rabrnv Se ryv airlav 
xal tt.v vritrov ifrarov elvai lrKljv rois iepevtri. xal xivras robs 
tV ®n$aiSa xaroixovirras, Jjirep itrrlv opxaiorirri rrjt Atybxrov, 
peyitrrov Spxov xplvetv, trav ns ‘Otriptv rbv iv QlXais xelpevov 


BOOK I. 27. 2-4 

power and honour than the king and that among 
private persons the wife should enjoy authority over 
her husband, 1 the husbands agreeing in the marriage 
contract that they will be obedient in all things to 
their wives.* 

Now I am not unaware that some historians give 
the following account of Isis and Osiris: The tombs 
of these gods lie in Nysa in Arabia, and for this 
reason Dionysus is also called Nysaeus. And in that 
place there stands also a stele of each of the gods 
bearing an inscription in hieroglyphs. On the stele 
of Isis it runs: “ I am Isis, the queen of every land, 
she who was instructed of Hermes, and whatsoever 
laws I have established, these can no man make 

1 Cp. Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 337 ff.: 

Their thoughts and actions ali 
Are framed and modelled on Egyptian ways. 

For there the men sit at the loom indoors 
While the wives slave abroad for daily bread. 

(Tr. by Storr, in L.C.L.) 

* Here some MSS. add the following sentences (cp. critical 
note), whieh are taken almost bodily from ohap. 22.2-6: “ And 
they say that Isis is buried in Memphis, where her tomb is 
pointed out to this day in the temple-area of Hephaestus. 
Aoeording to some writers, however, the bodies of these gods 
[rest in Philae on the island in the Nile, as I have already 
stated] rest on the border betwcen Ethiopia and Egypt, on 
the island in the Nile whieh lies near Philae, but is referred to 
because of this burial as the Holy Field. In proof of this they 
point to the tomb whieh was constructed for Osiris on this 
island and is honoured in common by all the priests of Egypt; 
and they mention three hundred and sixty libation bowls 
whieh are plaoed around it; for the priests appointed over 
these bowls fili them each day with milk, singing all the while 
a dirge in whieh they call upon the names of these gods. It is 
for this reason that only the priests are allowed to set foot on 
this island. And all the inhabitants of the Thebaid, whieh is 
the oldest portion of Egypt, hold it to be the strongest oath 
when a man swears ■ by Osiris who lieth in Philae.’ ” 


elfit 17 tov vetordrov K.povov 6 eov 6 vya.Tr/p rrpea- 
fivTd.Tr)' ey<0 el/u ywr/ Kai d 8 eX(f>f) , Ompioos 
fiaaiXew eyd> elpu V irproTt/ /capnov dvOptoirovi 
evpovcra' eycb el/u p-pryp "Llpov tov fiaaiXeeor 
iyd> el/u 17 iv T(p amptp tm ev t& kvvi eiuTeX- 
Xovaa' e/101 Bovfiamos r/ 1 toXi<s a>Ko 8 op.r/Vi 7. 

5 v cupe x^P* MyviTTe 17 Opefaad P € ' f 7rt S * 
Trjs 'Oo-t/jtSos iirtyeypdcfiOai Xeyejai “ UaTT)p pev 
icrTi p-oi Kpovos veboTcnos Oeebv aTrdvrtov, et/u oe 
“O rupis 6 fiaaiXew, 6 mpcnevaa^ em faaav 
y(opav ews el<s t oit<i aoiKr)Tov<i tottovs t&v IvSeov 
KO.I TOV<! Trpb<i dpKTOV KeicXi/ievov^jiexPi “}<rTP° v 
TTOTa/iov irr/ymv, ical irdXtv em t aXXa pepr/ ews 
di/ceavov. el/u Se wo? Kpovov irpeafivraTO^^ icai 
fiXamos iic kclXov Te ko .1 evyevov<i <pov 1 mrep/m 
avyyevh eyewr/ 6 r/v rj/iepas. *ot ovk em t tottos 
T 775 olKovpevt)<s el<s ov eyd> ovk d$iy/icu, SiaSov? 

6 irdaiv mv eyo) evpeTr/s 2 eyevo/ir/v. roaavTa 

twv ev t ah mrjXat<s^>a<Ti SvvaaOai 
dvayvwvai, tcl 8' aXXa ovtcl irXelw KaTetf>6ap6ai 
8id tov XP°v°v • to /lev oZv irep\ t»Js twv 

6emv TOVTtov 8iacj>wvelrai irapa tois irXeimoi<s Sta 
t 0 t oi)<i iepels ev airoppr/Tois irapeiXr/fybTas tt/v 

1 tfov Wesseling: oilov C, $ ei G, <r<iov other MSS. 

* tupcrJjs Wesseling : evepytrris. 

1 According to Pseudo-Eratosthenes ( Catasleriemue , 33) the 
star on the head of Canis Maior was called Isis as well as Sirius. 

2 The Danube. _ , , , . , 

* This mav be drawn frora the Orphic legenda which con- 
ceived of the undeveloped universe as a mystio egg, from 
which came Phanes, the first principle of life. Cp. the parody 
of the Orphic cosmogony in Aristophanes, 2 he Hirae, oyj n.. 

BOOK I. 27. 4-6 

void. I am the eldest daughter of the youngest god 
Cronus ; I am the wife and sister of the king Osiris; 
I am she who first discovered fruits for mankind; I 
am the mother of Horus the king; I am she who 
riseth in the star that is in the Constellation of 
the Dog; 1 by me was the city of Bubastus built. 
Farewell, farewell, O Egypt that nurtured me.” 
And on the stele of Osiris the inscription is said to 
run: “ My father is Cronus, the youngest of ali the 
gods, and I am Osiris the king, who campaigned 
over every country as far as the uninhabited regions 
of India and the lands to the north, even to the 
sources of the river Ister, 2 and again to the remain- 
ing parts of the world as far as Oceanus. I am the 
eldest son of Cronus, and being sprung from a fair 
and noble egg 3 I was begotten a seed of kindred birth 
to Day. There is no region of the inhabited w r orld 
to which I have not come, dispensing to all men the 
things of which I was the disco verer.” So much of 
the inscriptions on the stelae can be read, they say, 
but the rest of the writing, which was of greater 
extent, has been destroyed by time. However this 
may be, varying accounts of the burial of these gods 
are found in most writers by reason of the fact that 
the priests, having received the exact facts about 
There was Chaos at first, and Darkness, and Night, 
and Tartarus vasty and dismal; 

But the Earth was not there, nor the Sky, nor the Air, 
till at length in the bosom abysmal 
Of Darkness an egg, from the whirlwind conceived, 
was laid by the sable-plumed Night. 

And out of that egg, as the seasons revolved, 
sprang Love, the entrancing, the bright, 

Love brilliant and bold with his pinions of gold, 
like a whirlwind, refulgent and sparkling 1 

(Tr. by Rogers, in L.C.L.) 



nepl t ovtcov d/cpifieiav pr) j3ovXea6ai t aXrjdes 
i/c<f>epeiv eis tovs ttoWovs, cos av /cai /civSvvcov 
inuceipevcov tois Tanopp-tyra tcov Oecbv tovtcov 
prjvvaaaiv eis tou? o}(Kov<!. 

28 . Ot S' ovv Alyvmiol <f>acn /ccu pera nalna 
dnouclas nXeimas eP Alyvmov /cana naaav 
Siaanaprjvai Trjv ol/covpevrjv. eis BaftvXcova pev 
yap dyayelv anol/covs B 77X01; t ov vopi^opevov 
IlocretSaiiios eheu /ccu Ai/3vrjs’ ov napd t ov E vcf>pa- 
Tt]v TTOTapov KadihpvOevra tovs re iepels /caracmj- 
aacrBai napanX-qcrlcos t ot? /car Aiyvmov areXels 
/eal ndtrrjs Xenovpyias dnoXeXvpevovs, ovi 
BafivXcovioi /caXovcn XaXSalovs , ros re napa- 
•njp-qaeis tcov acnpcov tovtovs noieladai, pipov- 
pevovs tovs nap Alyvmlois Iepels /cal cf>vcn/covs, 

2 €Tt Se dajpoXoyovs. Xeyovai Se /cal tovs nepl 
tov Aavaov opppdevras opolcos i/ceWev avvoi/claai 
t rjv dpxaioTaTrjv ay^eSov tcov nap ' EXXpai 
7 roXecov "Apyos, t o re tcov KoX^cov edvos ev t a> 
Uovtco /cal t o tcov ’I ovSaicov dva pecrov 'A pa/ 3 ias 
/cal 'Zvptas ol/ciaai Tivas opprjOevTas nap' eavTcbv^ 

3 Sio /cal 7r apd toIs yevecn tovtois e/c naXaiov 

>napaSeSocrOai t o nepnepveiv tovs yevvcopevovs 
nalSas, Alyvmov peTevrjveypevov tov vopipov. 

4 /cal tovs ’A 6/jvalovs Se <f>atuv anol/covs elvai 
ltaiTcdv tcov el; AlyvnTOV, /cal neipcdvTai tt}s 
oi/ceioTTjTos TavTTjs epepetv dnoSel^eis' napa 
povois yeip tcov EXXTyiiwi; Tyv ttoXiv atTTV 
/caXelaOai, perevrjveypevrjs Ti/s npoerr^yopias ano 
tov nap’ axnols "Aureo?. It t Se 1 ttjv noXneiav^ 
tt)v ai/Tr/v eay^Kevai Tagiv /ccu Sialpeaiv t fj nap’ 

1 5e Dindorf: t L 

9 ° 

BOOK I. 27. 6-28. 4 

these matters as a secret not to be divulged, are 
unwilling to give out the truth to the public, on the 
ground that perils overhang any men who disclose 
to the common crowd the secret knowledge about 
these gods. 

28 . Now the Egyptians say that also after these 
events a great number of colonies were spread from 
Egypt over all the inhabited world. To Babylon, for 
instance, colonists were led by Belus, who was held 
to be the son of Poseidon and Libya; and after estab- 
lishing himself on the Euphrates river he appointed 
priests, called Chaldaeans by the Babylonians, who 
were exempt from taxation and free from every 
kind of Service to the state, as are the priests of 
Egypt; 1 and they also make observations of the 
stars, following the example of the Egyptian priests, 
physicists, and astrologers. They say also that those 
who set forth jwith Danaus, likewise from Egypt, 
settled what is practically the oldest city of Greece, 
Argos, and that the nation of the Colchi in Pontus 
and that of the Jews, which lies between Arabia and 
Syria, were founded as colonies by certain emigrants 
from their country; and this is the reason why it is 
a long-established institution among these two 
peoples to circumcise their male children, the custom 
having been brought over from Egypt. Even the 
Athenians, they say, are colonists from Sais in 
Egypt, and they undertake to offer proofs of such a 
relationship; for the Athenians are the only Greeks 
who call their city “ Asty,” a name brought over 
from the city Asty in Egypt. Furthermore, their 
body politic had the same classification and division 

1 On the exemption of the priests of Egypt from taxation, 
cp. chap. 73; on the Chaldaeans, op. Book 2. 29 f. 



5 Alyvmioit, eit rpla pepi] Siaveprjdeury xai 
TTpwTTjv pev virdpijai peplSa rovt evirarpiSat 
xaXovpevovt, oXrivet 1 {mrjpxov ev TraiSeia pa- 
\c<na SiaTerpi^bret xal rfjt peyitnrjt Tj&wpevoi 
riprjt irapaifXTjaLwt t oit k<zt’ Aiywirrov tepeyar 
Sevrepav Se t a%iv yeveadai ttjv twv yewpopwy 
twv b<f>ei\ov twv oirXa xexrrjadai xal iroXepelv 
vtrep rrjt 7 roXecot opoiwt t olt xar Alyvmov 
ovopafrpevoit yewpyolt xal rovt pa-^lpov<; trap- 
exopevoit' reXeuralav Se peplSa xaTapi0pt)9rjvai 
t tjv twv Srjpiovpywv twv t at /3avavaovt t exvat 
peraxeipi^opevwv xal Xeirovpylat tcXovvtwv rat 
dvayxaioTaTat, to irapairK^cnov 7 Toiovarjt rijt 
TCtgewt Tavrrjt irap' AlyvTTTtoit- 

6 lYyop&ai Se «at t<5i> i)yepovwv rivat Alyv- 
mlovt irapa roit ' A9rjvaloit‘ rov yap Uertjv rov 
irarepa Meve<r9ewt rov arparevaavrot elt T polav 
<j>avepwt Alyvmiov vnaptjavTa rvxelv varepov 
'AOrjvriai iroXiTelat re xal ftacriXeiat. . • • 

7 Si<f>vovt S’ aiiTov yeyovbrot, rovt pev 'Adrjvaiovt 
pf) Svvatrdai xara ttjv ISlav virocrracnv airoSovvai 
vepl rrjt (pvaewt ravrtjt rat aAr]9e t? amat, ev 
peaw xeipivov rraaiv ori Svolv iroXneiwv pera- 
erx<*>v, 'EWtjvixrjt xal /3apf3dpov, 8i<f>vr)t evopladr), 
t b pev e\wv pepot 9rjplov, ro Se av9pwirov. 

29. 'Opolwt Se tovtw xal t ov 'Epex^ea Xeyovai 
t o yevot Alyvimov ovra ftaaiXevaai twv Adrjvwv, 

1 oItivc! Vogel : olnres icponotol. 

1 i.e. “ of noble sires.” 

8 i.e. “ holdere of a share of land.” 


BOOK I. 28. 4-29- 

of the people as is found in Egypt, where the citizens 
have been divided into three orders: the first 
Athenian class consisted of the “ eupatrids,” 1 as 
they were called, being those who were such as had 
received the best education and were held worthy 
of the highest honour, as is the case with the priests 
of Egypt; the second was that of the “ geomoroi,” 2 
who were expected to possess arms and to serve in 
defence of the state, like those in Egypt who are 
known as husbandmen and supply the warriors; and 
the last class was reckoned to be that of the “ demi- 
urgoi,” 3 who practise the mechanical arts and 
render only the most menial Services to the state, 
this class among the Egyptians having a similar 

Moreover, certain of the rulers of Athens were 
originally Egyptians, they say. Petes, 4 for instance, 
the father of that Menestheus who took part in the 
expedition against Troy, having clearly been an 
Egyptian, later obtained citizenship at Athens and 
the kingship. 6 . . . He was of double form, and yet 
the Athenians are unable from their own point of 
view to give the true explanation of this nature of 
his, although it is patent to all that it was because 
of his double citizenship, Greek and barbarian, that 
he was held to be of double form, that is, part 
animal and part man. 

29. In the same way, they continue, Erechtheus 
also, who was by birth an Egyptian, became king of 

* i.e. “ workers for the people.” 

4 Called Peteus in Iliad 2. 652. 

6 There is a break at this point in the text, since what 
follows can refer only to Cecrops, the traditional first king of 
Athens, whose body in the lower part was that of a serpent. 



TotavTa? Tiva? <f>epovre<; diroSeigeis" yevopevwv 
yap opoXoyovpevw ? aiixpwv peyaXwv fcaTa iraaav 
a^ehov tt)v ol/eovpevrjv ttXtjv Atyvirrov Sta tt)v 
IStoT/jTa t fj<: «at <f>9opa<; eirtyevopevi)<: 

tS>v T6 /eapirwv /eat ir\r}9ovs dv9pwirwv, 
AiyvTTTOv tov 'Epe^dea teoptaat Sta tt/v avyye- 
vetav ctitov ir\f}9o ? et? ra? 'AOrjvas' av9' wv 
tov? ev ira9ovTa<: fiaatXea KaraaTtjtrai tov 

•2 evepyerr/v. tov tov Se irapaXafiovTa ttjv rjyepo- 
viav KaiaSel^at re? reXeTa? t^? ArjprjTpo^ ev 
'EXevaivt /eat tcl pvtTTrjpia irotfjcrat, peTevey/covra 
to irepl tovtcov eg AlyvirTou. /eat t t)? 1 
9eov Se irapovcriav et? ttjv 'Atti /cr/v yeyovvtav 
/eaid tov tov? tov? ^povov? 7 rapaSeS6o9at /caid 
\6yov, to? av rai< eirwvvpwv TavTt]<; /eapirwv totc 
/eopto9evT(ov et? Ta? ’A 9ijva<;, /eat Sta tovto Sogat 
irdX.iv eg apXV^ T V V evpeatv yeyovevat tov airep- 

3 paTO?, Sw prjaapevrj? Trjs ArjprjTpos. opoXoyeiv 
Se /cal tov? 'A9rjvatov<; oti {3aat\evovTO<; ’E pe%- 
9ea><; /eal twv /eapirwv Sta ttjv avopftpiav trpo- 
rjef/avtapevwv rj Trjs AijprjTpos eyevero irapovaia 
irpo<; avTOv? «at r/ Scopea tov at tov. irpo<; Se 
TovTot? ai reXeral «at Ta pvoT^pta TavTiji Ttji 

4 9eov TOTe /eaTeSetxOrjaav ev 'EXevat vi. Tti Te 
irepl Ta? 9voia<; «at Ta? apxatoTrjTas tucravTto? 
e%etv ’A 9t)vaiov<; «at tov? Aiyvirrlovs' tov? pev 
yap Evpo\iriSa<! diro tS>v /eai AiyvirTov iepewv 
peTevt)vex9at, tov? Se K /)pv/ca<s airo twv iraaTO- 
<j>opwv. t rfv Te 'laiv povov<: twv 'EXXjJvgjz' 

1 «ai tt) s B N, Bekker, Vogel: koI tt)v t?j Hertlein, Dindorf. 

1 The Eumolpidae (“ Descendants of Eumolpus ”) and the 

BOOK I. 29. 1-4 

Athens, and in proof of this they offer the following 
considerations. Once when there was a great 
drought, as is generally agreed, which extended 
over practically all the irihabited earth except Egypt 
because of the peculiar character of that country, 
and there followed a destruction both of crops and 
of men in great numbers, Erechtheus, through his 
racial connection with Egypt, brought from there to 
Athens a great supply of grain, and in return those 
who had enjoyed this aid made their benefactor 
king. After he had secured the throne he insti- 
tuted the initiatory rites of Demeter in Eleusis and 
established the mysteries, transferring their ritual 
from Egypt. And the tradition that an advent of 
the goddess into Attica also took place at that time 
is reasonable, since it was then that the fruits which 
are named after her were brought to Athens, and 
this is why it was thought that the discovery of the 
seed had been made again, as though Demeter had 
bestowed the gift. And the Athenians on their 
part agree that it was in the reign of Erechtheus, 
when a lack of rain had wiped out the crops, that 
Demeter came to them with the gift of grain. 
Furthermore, the initiatory rites and mysteries of 
this goddess were instituted in Eleusis at that time. 
And their sacrifices as well as their ancient cere- 
monies are observed by the Athenians in the same 
way as by the Egyptians; for the Eumolpidae were 
derived from the priests of Egypt and the Ceryces 
from the pastophoroi. 1 They are also the only Greeks 

Ceryoes (“ Heralds ”) were two noble Athenian families, iu 
charge of the more important religious ceremonies of Attica; 
the pastophoroi were those Egyptian priests who carried in 
processions small shrines of the gods. 



opvveiv, Kal rais ISeais Kal rot? rjffeaiv opoiora- 

5 tov<; elvat rot? Alyoirrioit. iroWa Se Kal aWa 
rot/Tot? rraparrX^aia Xeyovre<! cfnXoripoTepov rjrrep 
aXr]6ivdnepov, <5? y' e pol cfrcuverai, ri}? drroi/cta<; 
ravTr)<! ap<j>ta/3r)TOV(Ti Sia rrjv So%av tt}<; rr6Xea><}. 

Ka^oXou Se rrXetaTa<i arroi/das Alyvrrrioi 
cfiaa-iv eKirepyJrai tovi eavrSrv irpoyovov*; errl 
rroXXa pepp tt/? olKovpevrj? Sui Te ttjv virepoj^v 
to>v ffaaiXevadvrcov irap' aurot? /cal Sta, ttjv vrrep- 

6 fioXrjv t% rroXvav0po>rria<r vrrep <5 v prjre arro- 
Selge a)? (pepopevrjs prjSepia<! a/cpifiovi prjre avy- 
ypacf>ea><; dgioirlarov paprvpovvTOs, ovk exptvapev 
vrrdp^eiv ra Xeyopeva ypa<j>r)<; aljia. 

Kat rrepl pe v rarv deoXoyovpe vcov rrap' Alyv- 
7rrtot? roaavff ppiv elpijtrOo), cno^a^opevoit; Trj<; 
avpp£Tpia<i■ rrepl Se rfj<t %(!> pa? /cal rov NetXov 
Kal r5>v aXXarv rarv aicorft d^la>v ev Kecf/aXaioi? 
e/caara Ste^tevai ireipacropeOa. 

30. 'H ydp AiyvrrTO<! xeirai pev pdXiard mov 
/cara peorjpftpiav, oyvpoTpn Se cjivcrtKfj /cal 
/cdXXei -)(d>pa<; ovk oXiycp Soxet rrpoexeiv rarv eh 

2 ftaaiXeiav dcfiooptcrpevcov tottcov. diro pev ydp 
rrj ? Svtreav; a>xypa>Kev avrrjv r) epr/pot Kal Or/pid)- 
Sr)<; rrj<t At^vrpt, errl rroXv pev rrapeKTeivovaa, 
Sia, Se rr)V avvSpiav Kal rrjv arrdviv rrj<i drrdcrr j? 
Tpotfypt e^ovtra ttjv SietjoSov ov povov eirtirovov, 
aXXa Kai rravTeX&i; eiriKivSvvov ix Se tS>v rrpbt 
voro v pepmv oi re KarapaKTai tov NetXov Kal 

3 t5>v opSrv ra awopi^ovra tovtoi<t diro ydp rrjs 

1 T. Birt (Das antike Buchwesen, pp. 151 ff.) feels that by 
thia phraae, which ia often uaed by Diodorus, he referred to hia 

BOOK I. 29. 4-30. 3 

who swear by Isis, and they closely resemble the 
Egyptians in both their appearance and manners. 
By many other statements like these, spoken more 
out of a love for glory than with regard for the 
truth, as I see the matter, they claim Athens as a 
colony of theirs because of the fame of that city. 

In general, the Egyptians say that their ancestors 
sent forth numerous colonies to many parts of the 
inhabited world, by reason of the pre-eminence of 
their former kings and their excessive population; 
but since they offer no precise proof whatsoever for 
these statements, and since no historian worthy of 
credence testifies in their support, we have not 
thought that their accounts merited recording. 

So far as the ideas of the Egyptians about the 
gods are concerned, let what we have said suffice, 
since we are aiming at due proportion in our account, 1 
but with regard to the land, the Nile, and every- 
thing else worth hearing about we shall endeavour, 
in each case, to give the several facts in summary. 

30. The land of Egypt stretches in a general way 
from north to south, and in natural strength and 
beauty of landscape is reputed to excel in no small 
degree ali other regions that have been formed into 
kingdoms. For on the west it is fortified by the 
desert of Libya, which is full of wild beasts and 
extends along its border for a long distance, and by 
reason of its lack of rain and want of every kind of 
food makes the passage through it not only toilsome 
but even highly dangerous; while on the south the 
same protection is affordcd by the cataracts of the 
Nile and the mountains flanldng them, since from 

effort to keep the several Books of his history of approxi- 
mately tbe same size. 



TpcoyoSvn/ci}s 1 /cal r& v ia^aro/v rijs AWtontas 
pep&v evros araSimv irevTaKLcr^iXlwv /cal nevra- 
/cooicov ovre nXevaai Sta rov norapov paStov 
ovre ire£j) iropevdrjvat pt) rvxovra fia/riXt/cr/s rj 

4 navreX&s peydXrjs rivos ■yoprjylas. r&v Se rrpos 
ri)v avaroXrjv vevovrcov pep&v ra, pev 6 rrorapos 
oyy^vpeoKe, ra. S' eprjpos^ nepte^et /cal neSia reXpa- 
tcoStj ra rrpoaayopevopeva B dpadpa. etrri yap 
avk pkaov rfjs K oiXr)s Sopias /cal rrjs Alyvnrov 
Xipvrj r& pe v irXarei arevrj navreX&s, r& Se 
fiadei davpdatos, r6 Se prj/cos ini Sia/coaiovs 
nap-q/covaa crraSiovs, fj npoaay ope verat pev 
Sepftoavis, rots S' anetpois r&v npoaneXa^ovTcov 

5 aveXniorovs emt^epei tcivSvvovs . arevov yap 
rov pevparos ovros /cal ratvia napanX/jatov, 
div&v re peyaXcov rrdvrrj rrept/cexvpeva/v, errei- 
Sav vbroi crvvexeis nvevcrcocriv, emoeterat nXrj- 

6 dos appov. avrv Se ro pev vScop /cara, rrjv 
em<f>dveiav aarjpov irotei, rov Se rys Xtpvrjs 
tvttov crvptfiVT) ri} x^P^V /cal /cara nav aStdyvwa- 
rov. Sto /cal iroXXol r&v ayvoovvrcov rrjv ISio- 
TTjra rov ronov pera arparevparw v oXcov 
■bcf/avio-drjaav rfjs vno/ceipevrjS oSov Stapaprovres. 

7 r) pev yap cippos e/c rov /car oXiyov narovpevt) 
crjv evSoaiv Xapfiavet, /cal roi/s em/ 3 dXXovras 

1 For this form, without the A, see Vogel I. lxxii and 
Kallenberg, Textlcritik und Sprachgebrauch Diodors, I. i. 

1 The “ Cave-dwellers ” are located by Diodorus along the 
Red Sea as far north as the Greek port of Berenice, and are 
described at lcngth in Book 3. 32 f. 

2 The word com6s from a root meaning “ to devour,” which 
suits the nature of the region, as Diodorus observes below. 

BOOK I. 30. 3-7 

the country of the Trogodytes 1 and the farthest 
parts of Ethiopia, over a distance of five thousand 
five hundred stades, it is not easy to sail by the 
river or to journey by land, unless a man is fitted 
out like a king or at least on a very great scale. 
And as for the parts of the country facing the east, 
some are fortified by the river and some are embraced 
by a desert and a swampy flat called the Barathra. 2 
For between Coele-Syria and Egypt there lies a 
lake, quite narrow, but marvellously deep and some 
two hundred stades in length, which is called Ser- 
bonis 8 and offers unexpected perils to those who 
approach it in ignorance of its nature. For since 
the body of the water is narrow, like a ribbon, and 
surrounded on all sides by great dunes, when there 
are constant south winds great quantities of sand 
are strewn over it. This sand hides the surface of 
the water and makes the outline of the lake con- 
tinuous with the solid land and entirely indistin- 
guishable from it. For this reason many who were 
unacquainted with the peculiar nature of the place 
have disappeared together with whole armies, 4 when 
they wandered from the beaten road. For as the 
sand is walked upon it gives way but gradually, 
deceiving with a kind of malevolent cunning those 

The famous Bnrathron, or “ Pit,” at Athens was a cleft west 
of the Hili of the Nymphs into which condemned criminals 
were fiung. 

* Cp. Milton, Paradise Lost, 2. 592 ff.: 

A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog 
Betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius old, 

Where armies whole have sunk. 

* An inslance of the loss of part of i 
16. 46. 

army is given in Book 



0)0-7 rep irpovota tivi irovppa irapaKpoverai, ptypi 
hv otov \aySwT6? imovoiav t ov avp ^?jcr opevov 
j3oriQi)<T<o<Tiv 'eavToh, ovk ovar/s en <f>vyfjs ovSe 

pevos ovt€ vr)X ea @ al Swarat, Trapaipovpevr)s t rjs 
iXvos TtjV t ov aco par os Ktvrfaiv, ov t e/cfirjvai 
/caTiaxvet, prjSev 6%o>j; arepepvLov ek eirifiaaiv 
pepiypevrjs ydp t rjs cippo v tois vypols, Kai Sia 
tovto ttjs etcarepcov <f>vaecos rjXXoicapevjjs, avp- 
fiaivei t ov tottov prpre iropevTov elvai pr/je ttXco- 

9 tov. Stoirep oi rot? pepeai tovtois imffaXXovTes 

<f>epopevoi 7 rpos tov fivdov ovSepiav dvriX^iv 
fiopOeias exovai, avyKaroXiadavovarjs t fjs appov 
tt/s irapd t a Ta ph> ovv irpoeiprjpeva 

Trebia TOtavrrjv exovra t))v cf>vaiv obceias 6TU%e 
irpoarjyopias, ovopaaOevTa B dpadpa. 

31. 'H peis S' iirei rd irepi t&v diro jfjs 
Xeoaov rpiwv pepebv to>v oxvpovvrwv t r)v Atyv- 
TTTOV SirjXdopev, irpoadpaopev t ois elprjpevots^ t o 

2 Xetiropevov. r\ TerdpTT) toLvvv irXevpa iraaa 
axebov aXtpevw daXcmp irpoa/cXv^opevr] 7 rpofie- 
/3XrjTai t o hiyviTTiOV ireXayos, 0 tov pev irapa- 
ttXovv eX el paKpoTaTov, ttjv S' airo^aaiv tt}V ein 
jrp, x,d>pav hvairpoaoppiaTov airo yap Tlapaijo- 
viov t i)? Aiftvrjs ea)? 'Iott-t/s ttj? ev Trj KoiXTj 
Xvpia, ovtos tov TrapdirXov aTabiasv axeSov 
irevTa/ciaxtXlcov, ovk eaTiv evpelv datfiaXriXipeva. 

3 irXrjv tov <£>dpov. %a)/)t? Se tovtmv Tat via irap 
oXtjv axeSov tt/V AiyviTTOV irapr)Ket t ot? diretpois 

1 That part of the Mediterranean lying oS Egypt. 

BOOK I. 30 . 7 - 31 . 3 

who advance upon it, until, suspecting some im- 
pending mishap, they begin to help one another 
only when it is no longer possible to turn back or 
escape. For anyone who has been sucked in by the 
mire cannot swim, since the slime prevents all move- 
ment of the body, nor is he able to wade out, since 
he lias no solid footing; for by reason of the mixing 
of the sand with the water and the consequent 
change in the nature of both it comes about that 
the place cannot be crossed either on foot or by 
boat. Consequently those who enter upon these 
regions are borne towards the depths and have 
nothing to grasp to give thcm help, since the sand 
along the edge slips in with them. These flats have 
received a name appropriate to their nature as we 
have described it, being called Barathra. 

31. Now that we have set forth the facts about 
the three regions which fortify Egypt by land we 
shall add to them the one yet rcmaining. The 
fourth side, which is washed over its whole extent 
by waters which are practically harbourless, has for 
a defence before it the Egyptian Sea . 1 The voyage 
along the coast of this sea is exceedingly long, 
and any landing is especially difficult; for from 
Paraetonium 2 in Libya as far as Iope 3 in Coele- 
Syria, a voyage along the coast of some five 
thousand stades, there is not to be found a safe 
harbour except Pharos . 4 And, apart from these 
consideratioris, a sandbank extends along practically 
the whole length of Egypt, not discemible to any 

2 The first important city on the coast west of Alexandria. 

5 Joppa. 

* The island which lies before Alexandria and gave its name 
to the harbour. 



4 t&v irpoairXeovTcov dOe&prjTov Sioirep oi tov e/c 
7 r eXdyov: /civSvvov e/cTrecf/evyevai vopi^ovTes, /cal 
Sia ttjv ayvotav dapevoi irpos ttjv yrjv /cara- 
7 rXeovTes, eijai/fcvrj'} eiro/ceXXovTmv t&v a/cacfi&v 

6 aveXiriaTco'} vavayovaiv- evioi Se Sid ttjv Tairei- 
voTrjTa Trj$ %&pa<! ov Svvdpevoi irpoiSeadat ttjv 
yrjv Xavdavovcriv eavTovs e/CTriTTTovTes oi pev et? 
eX&Seiv /cal Xipvd^ovTat toitov<:, oi S ’ et? x™P av 

6 H pev ovv AtyvJTTOs iravTaxodev cpvai/c&s 
&Xvpa>Tai T ° v eiprjpievov Tpoirov, t& Se axVP aTl 
TrapajLTjKTjs oiiaa Su r^t\tt»j/ pev aTaSicov e^et ttjv 
irapadaXaTTiov irXevpav, et? pecroyeiov S' dvrj/cei 
axeSov eVt VTaSiov ? e^a/ciaxiXiovc. iroXvav- 
Opcoiria Se to jxev iraXaiov iroXii irpoeax 6 Trdvronv 
t&v yva>pi£op,eva>v tottcdv /caTa ttjv obcovp,evrjv, 
/cal /cad' rjpa<; Se ovSevoi t&v aXXcov So/cei 

7 Xeiireadai' eVt pev yap t&v dp^atnw' xP° va>v 
eaX e /c&pcai agioXoyovs /cal 7ro\et? irXeiovi t&v 
jxvpicov /cal o/CTa/ciaxiXla/v, a>? ev Tai ? /epat? 
avaypa(f>ai<: opav eaTi icaTa/cexa>piapevov, eirl Se 
UToXepaiov tov Adyov irXeiov? t&v TpicrpvpUov 
TjpiOixrjdTjcrav, &v to irX-ijdos Siajiepievrj/cev et»? 

8 t&v /caff Tjpaf XP° va>v ~ toO Se avjjnravTO<i Xaov 
to pev iraXaiov <f>aai yeyovevai irepl eirTa/coaias 

1 Ptolemy Lagus, general of Alexander the Great, was the 

founder of the line of the Ptolemies. He obtained the go vernor- 
ship of Egypt shortly after the death of Alexander in 323 B.O., 
assumed the title of king in 305, and reigned until 283. 


BOOK I. 31. 3-8 

who approach without previous experience of these 
waters. Consequently those who think that they 
have escaped the perii of the sea, and in their ignor- 
ance tum with gladness towards the shore, suffer 
unexpected shipwreck when their vessels suddenly 
run aground; and now and then mariners who 
cannot see land in time because the country lies so 
low are cast ashore before they realize it, some of 
them on marshy and swampy places and others on a 
desert region. 

The land of Egypt, then, is fortified on all sides 
by nature in the manner described, and is oblong 
in shape, having a coast-line of two thousand stades 
and extending inland about six thousand stades. 
In density of population it far surpassed of old all 
known regions of the inhabited world, and even 
in our own day is thought to be second to none 
other; for in ancient times it had over eighteen 
thousand important villages and cities, as can be 
seen entered in their sacred records, while under 
Ptolemy son of Lagus 1 these were reckoned at 
over thirty thousand, 2 this great number continuing 
down to our own time. The total population, they 
say, was of old about seven million and the number 

2 Herodotus (2.177) gives the number of “ inhabited eities ” 
in the time of Amasis (sixth century B.o.) as twenty thousand. 
The “over thirty thousand” of Diodorus may be approxi- 
mately correct, when the “ villages ’ ’ are included, although 
he may be using the figures given by Theocritus (17. 82 fi.), 
who was bora about 305 B.c. and performed a feat of metrical 
juggling of the number 33,333 : “ The cities builded therein 
are three hundreds and three thousands and three tens of 
thousands, and threes twain and nines three, and in them 
the lord and master of all is proud Ptolemy ” (tr. Edmonds, 
in L.CJj.). 



pvpidSag, Kal tcaO' rjpdg Se ovk fXarrou? elvai 

9 Tourtov. 1 Sio Kal rov<: apxaiov<! fiaaiXev; Ictto- 
povai /cara ttjv AiyvwTOv epya peyaXa Kal 
Oavpama Sia ttj<; iro\vxeipia<; KaraaKeuaaavTa<; 
adavara T»}? eavr&v Sotjrjq diroXiireiv virop.vre¬ 
para. dWd irepi pev tovtcov Ta Kaia pepo? 
piKpbv varepov avaypdyfropev, irepi Se tjj? tov 
irorapov <j>vaecog Kai tcov Kaia ttjv x&pav 
ISicopanov vvv Siegipev. 

32. O yap NetXo? <f>eperai pev diro pearjp^piag 
eirl Ttjv apKTov , ra? irrjyag ex<ov eV tottusv 
aopdicov, di Keivrai t?}? eV^aV?j? AiOioirias «ara 
ttjv eprjpov , airpocriiov ttj<! %a>pa? ovarj^ Sia ttjv 

2 tov Kavparo<: virepfiokrjv. peyiaTo<; S' wv t&v 
diravTtov irorapwv Kal ir\e'iarpv ypv Siegiwv 
Kapirag iroieirai peyd\a<:, irore pev eirl ttjv 
avaTo\rjv Kal ttjv 'Apaffiav eiriaTpeijxov, irore S' 
eirl ttjv Svtriv Kal ttjv Ai/3vrjv eKK\iva>v m <f>epeTai 
yap airo twv AWloitik&v dp&v pe%pi ri)? et? 
OaXaTTav e’/e/3oXi)? cndSia pdAitTTa irm pipia 

3 Kal SiiT)(i\ia avv at? iroieiTai Kapiral<;. 2 KaTa 
Se toix; viroKaTO) tottoi»? avcrTeXXeTai tois 07/eot? 
aei paWov, airoaircopevov tov pevpaTog eir 

4 ap<f> 0 Tepa<; ra? rjireipovi. t&v S' airoax^o- 
pevcov pep&v t b pev et? Ttjv Aifivrjv eKKXivov v<j> 

1 AU MSS. except M read rpiaxoeriW, wliich has been 
deleted hy every editor since Dindorf. But U. Wilcken 
(Qricchische Ostraka aus Agyplcn und Nubien, 1., pp. 489 f.) 

follows Ed. Meyer in feeling that ipianoaiav 1 -- 

and makes a strong cr - t — 

1 Ttcpici\i]tpc *t (fa) vfi<rous l» clvt$ Kaia pb t{,» Atfioiria* 
&\\at Tt ir\ elovt xa! ptat tvptytBi), t)iv iropafopenii/ Mtpiijv, 1) 

that TpiaKoffiav is a corruptio 
for toAtuv, wliich I hav 

BOOK I. 31. 8-32. 4 

has remained no less down to our day. 1 It is for this 
reason that, acoording to our historical accounts, 
the ancient kings of Egypt built great and marvel- 
lous works with the aid of so many hands and left 
in them immortal monuments to their glory. But 
these matters we sliall set forth in detail a little 
later; now we shall teli of the nature of the river 
and the distinctive features of the country. 

32. The Nile flows from south to north, having its 
sources in regions which have never been seen, 
since they lie in the desert at the extremity of 
Ethiopia in a country that cannot be approached 
because of the excessive heat. Being as it is the 
largest of all rivers as well as the one which traverses 
the greatest territory, it fornis great windings, now 
turning towards the east and Arabia, now bending 
back towards the west and Libya; for its course 
from the mountains of Ethiopia to where it empties 
into the sea is a distance, inclusive of its windings, 
of some twelve thousand stades. In its lower 
stretches it is more and more reduced in volume, 
as the flow is drawn off to the two continents. 2 Of 
the streams which thus break off from it, those 
which turn off into Libya are swallowed up by the 

1 U. Wilcken (cp. critical note) feels that this sum for the 
population of Egypt about the middle of the first century 
B.o. is approximately correct. Josephus (Jewish War, 2. 385), 
writing a little more than a Century later, gives the population 
as 7,500,000, exclusive of Alexandria. In Book 17. 52. 6 Dio¬ 
dorus says that the “ free inhabitante ” of that city numbered 
over 300,000. 

* The earlier Greek writers made the Nile the dividing Une 
between the continents of Asia and Africa. 

tfann IvoTv o-T aSlav ferri ii wKdros added hy CF from 
chap. 33. 1. 



appov KCLTairlverai to fiados ixovorjs antOTOP, 
to 8’ eis ttjp 'Apafttav ivavTtms eloxeopepop ei? 
TeXpara nappeye&i] Kal Xtpvas iKTpenerai peya- 

6 Xas Kal neptotKovpevas yeveai noXXots. ei? Se 
ttjp hlyviTTOv ip0aXXei tt} pep 8e/ca oraSlmp, 
t fj 8' eXarrov tovtcop, ovk in’ evdelas (pepopepos, 
toi Kapnas naprolas notovpevos' nor e pep 
yap eXiTTerai npos ttjp ea>, nore 8e npos ttjp 
eonepap, ion 8’ ore irpos ttjp peotqp^plap, ei? 

6 TOvmoQ) Xapfiapcop t rjp naXlppotap, opi] yap 
eg e/carepov pepovs tov norapov napr\Kei, noXXrjv 
pev rrjs napanoraplas inexopra, SteiXrjppepa 
8e (papay^i tcara/cp^ppot;? 1 oreponopois, ol ? 
epnlmop to pevpa naXtoovrel Sta rrjs neSidSos, 
Kal npos t r]P peoi]pf3piav i<f>’ Uapop tottop 
iimydep naXip ini tij p Kara tjivoip (popav 

7 TrfXtKavTrjp 8’ ix<»P vnepox*]P ip naotp 6 
norapi i? ovtos popos t&p aXXtop avev /Sta? Kal 
KvpardSovs opprjs rrjp pvoip noielrai, nXijp ip 

8 rot? KaXovpevois KaTapaKTat ?. ronos yap ris 
ion ptjKet pep to? Se«a oraSlmv, KaTaPTi]s Se Kal 
Kpijppots ovyKXeiopevos ei? oreprjp ivToprjv, anas 
Se rpayys Kal tpapayywSrjs, en Se nerpovs ix°> v 
nvKPovs Kal peyaXovs ioiKoras OKoneXois’ t ov 
Se pevparos nepl tovtovs ox^opevov /StatoTepov 
Kal noXXaKis Sta ra? iyKonas avaKXwpevov npos 
ipapnap ttjp Karatpopap ovvloTavTat Stpat dav- 

9 paorai' nas 8’ 6 peoagcop ronos vno tt)s naXip- 

1 KtxTaKpfijivois Capps : Kal Kpn/woit. 


BOOK I. 32. 4-9 

sand, which lies there to an incredible depth, while 
those which pour in the opposite direction into 
Arabia are diverted into immense fens and large 
marshes 1 on whose shores dwell many peoples. But 
where it enters Egypt it has a width of ten stades, 
sometimes less, and flows, not in a straight course, 
but in windings of every sort; for it twists now 
towards the east, now towards the west, and at 
times even towards the south, tuming entirely bach 
upon itself. For sharp hilis extend along both sides 
of the river, which occupy much of the land border- 
ing upon it and are cut through by precipitous 
ravines, in which are narrow defiles; and when it 
comes to these hilis the stream rushes rapidly back- 
ward through the level country, 2 and after being 
bome southward over an area of considerable extent 
resumes once more its natural course. 

Distinguished as it is in these respects above all 
other streams, the Nile is also the only river which 
makes its way without violence or onrushing waves, 
except at the cataracts, as they are called. This is 
a place which is only about ten stades in length, but 
has a steep descent and is shut in by precipices so 
as to form a narrow cleft, rugged in its entire length 
and ravine-like, full, moreover, of huge boulders 
which stand out of the water like peaks. And since 
the river is split about these boulders with great 
force and is often turned back so that it rushes in 
the opposite direction because of the obstacles, 
remarkable whirlpools are formed; the middle space, 
moreover, for its entire length is filled with foam 

1 Herodotus (2. 32) speaks of "large marshes” on the 
upper course of the Nile. 

2 i.e. the valley which lies between the hilis. 



poiaj a<j)pov re irXrjpovrai Kal rot<; irpotrtovtri 
peydXrjv ^ rrapjxerai KardirXp^iv- /eai ydp ,) 
Karatfiopa rov rrorapov ovrm iarlv ogeia Kal 

10 /Stato? &<rre SoKelv prjSev fieXovt; Siatfrepeiv. /cara 
Se rrjv irXrjpeoaiv rov Net\oi», r&v o-KoireXwv 
KaraKXv^opevtav Kal iravros rov rpaxvvovrot; 
roirov ro) irXrjdei rov pevparoi KaXvirropevov, 
KarairXeovm p,ev nve<; Kar a rov KarapaKrov 
Xapfidvovret; evavriovt; rovs dvepovt;, dvairXev- 
aai Se oJrSeb; Svvarai, viKmarjt; rrj<; rov irorapov 

11 fiia<; rraaav eirivoiav avOpeeirivrjv. KarapaKrai 
p.ev ovv euri roiovroi irXeiovt;, p,eyicrro<; S' 6 irpbt; 
Tot? pednpioij r i)? AWioirla<; re Kal rrjt; Atyvirrov. 

33. HepieiXrj<f>e S' 6 i rorap,o<; Kal vrjaovt; ev 
avra>, Kara pevrrjv AWioiriav aXXa<; re i fXeiovs 
Kai p,iaV' evpeyeOrj, rrjv dvopui^opevrjv Mepotjv, ev 
11 K f ai TfdXit; ecrrlv atjioXoyo<; 6p,d>vv/j.o<; rfj vpcrco, 
Kruravro<; avrrjv Kap./3v<rov Kal Oepevov rrjv 
irpotrrjyopiav arro r »/? prjrpbt; avrov Mepotjv. 

2 ravrrjv Se rS> jiev crxrfparl <f>a<riv virdpxeiv 
ffvpea irapairXrjcriav, rS> Se peyedei iroXv irpoexeiv 
rS>v aXXurv vrjatnv rwv ev rovrois Tot? roirov;' ro 
pev ydp prjKO; avrrj; elvai Xeyovcri araSlwv 
rpurxiXiwv, ro Se irXdroi %t\tW. exeiv S' 
avrrjv Kai iroXei; ovk oXiyat;, drv eiri^aveararrjv 

3 vrrapxeiv rrjv Meporjv. iraprjKeiv Se rrj<; vrjtrov 
rov jrepiKXv&pevov iravra roirov diro jiev rrj<; 

diva; exovra<; appov peyedo; depiov, diro 
Se rrj; 'Apa^la; Kprjpvov; Kareppwyorat;. virdp- 
% €lv / S’ ev avrfj K al peraXXa XP va °v Te Kal 
apyvpov Kal criSrjpov Kal x°-Xkov • irpo; Se rov- 
rot? exeiv irXrjdot; iftevov, Xidoov re iroXvreX&v 

BOOK I. 32. 9-33. 3 

made by the backward rush of the water, and strikes 
those wlio approach it with great terror. And, in 
fact, the descent of the river is so swift and violent 
that it appears to the eye like the very rush of an 
arrow. During the flood-time of the Nile, when the 
peaked rocks are covered and the entire rapids are 
hidden by the large volume of the water, some men 
descend the cataract when they find the winds 
against tliem, 1 but no man can make his way up it, 
since the force of the river overcomes every human 
device. Now there are stili other cataracts of this 
nature, but the largest is the one on the border 
between Ethiopia and Egypt. 

33. The Nile also embraces islands within its 
waters, of which there are many in Ethiopia and 
one of considerable extent called Meroe, on which 
there also lies a famous city bearing the same name 
as the island, which was founded by Cambyses and 
named by him after his mother Meroe. This island, 
they say, has the shape of a long shield and in size 
far surpasses the other islands in these parts; for 
they state that it is three thousand stades long and 
a thousand wide. It also contains not a few cities, 
the most famous of which is Meroe. Extending 
the entire length of the island where it is washed 
by the river there are, on the side towards Libya, 
dunes containing an infinite amount of sand, and, on 
the side towards Arabia, rugged cliffs. There are 
also to be found in it mines of gold, silver, iron, and 
copper, and it contains in addition much ebony and 

1 and so are able to check their speed by nsing the sails. 



i yevrj navToSana. /cadoXov Se rocravTa<; vijaov? 
notetv tov noTapov &are tov<; a/covovTa<s pt] 
paSt o>5 ntOTevoat' %tu/Pts 7 ap t&v nept/cXv£o- 
pevoav tottwv ev t& /caXovpevcp AeXra Ta<s aXXa<s 
elvai vnjaovs nXeiows t&v enTa/coaioav, &v Ta<s 
pev vi ro AWionoav enavTXovpeva<i yecopyeladai 
tceyxpfp, Ta<s Se nXijpei<; vnapxeiv ocj/ecov /cal 
/cvvo/cetpaXoov /cal aXXcov drjpluv navToSan&v, /cal 
Sta tovto anpoaiTov<s elvai toi<s avdp&noit. 

5 'O S ’ ovv NeZXos /cara tt)v AiyvTrrov ets 
nXeico peprj o^fo/ievo? irotel to /caXovpevov ano 

6 tov ax^po-Tot AeXra. tovtov Se ra? pev 
nXevpa<! /caTaypacpet Ta TeXevTata t&v pevpa- 
tcov, tt)v Se ftaotv avanXrjpol to Sexopevov 

7 neXayo<s Ta<s i/c(3oXa<; tov noTapov. e^trjcn S’ 
ets ttjv ddXaTTav en ttoi OTopaaiv, &v to pev 
npo<: eoa /ce/cXipevov /cal np&Tov /caXeiTai TlrjXov- 
aia/cov, to Se SevTepov TavtTi/cov, etTa MevSij- 
cnov /cal OaTviTi/cov /cal %e@evvi iti/cov, eri Se 
B oXfitTivov, /cal TeXevTatov Kavcofti/cov, o Ttve<: 

8 ’Hpa/cXeoaTt/cbv ovopd^ovaiv. ea ti Se /cal erepa 
GTopaTa x^cponol/jTa, nepl &v ovSev /caTenelyet 
7 pacpetv. e<j> e/catJTtp Se n oXts rerei^tcrrai Siai- 
povpevrj t& noTap& /cal /cad’ e/caTepov pepo ? 
i/c/3oXr)<; fyvypaoi /cal cf>vXa/ca2<i ev/caipois Siei- 
Xrjppev t). ano Se tov UrjXovaia/cov GTopaTos 
Si&pvlj eoTi %eipo 7 roti 7 TO? el<s tov 'Apaftiov 

9 /coXnov /cal ttjv 'EpvOpav OaXaTTav. tuvttjv S’ 
enefiaXeTO np&TOf /caTaa/ceva£eiv N e/c&i 6 
^apprjTtxov, peTa Se tovtov A apeiot 6 Ile^cr^?, 
/cal npo/coy{ra<i rot? epyoi<s eto? Ttro? to TeXevTatov 


BOOK I. 33 . 3-9 

every kind of precious stone. Speaking generally, 
the river forms so many islands that the report of 
them can scarcely be credited; for, apart from the 
regions surrounded by water in what is called the 
Delta, there are more than seven hundred other 
islands, of which some are irrigated by the Ethiopians 
and planted with millet, though others are so overrun 
by snakes and dog-faced baboons 1 and other animals 
of every kind that human beings cannot set foot 
upon them. 

Now where the Nile in its course through Egypt 
divides into several streams it forms the region 
■which is called from its shape the Delta. The 
two sides of the Delta are described by the outer- 
most branches, while its base is formed by the 
sea which receives the discharge from the several 
outlets of the river. It empties into the sea in 
seven mouths, of which the first, beginning at the 
east, is called the Pelusiae, the second the Tanitic, 
then the Mendesian, Phatnitic, and Sebennytic, then 
the Bolbitine, and finally the Canopic, which is 
called by some the Heracleotic. There are also 
other mouths, built by the hand of man, about which 
there is no special need to write. At each mouth 
is a walled city, which is divided into two parts by 
the river and provided on each side of the mouth 
with pontoon bridges and guard-houses at suitable 
points. From the Pelusiae mouth there is an arti- 
ficial canal to the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea. 
The first to undertake the construction of this was 
Necho the son of Psammetichus, and after him 
Darius the Persian made progress with the work for 

1 These are described in Book 3. 35. 



10 etaaev avirjv aavvieXeaiov' eSiSax^V yap viro 
nvcov on Stopv^a<s iov ladpbv aiiio<i eaiai iov 
/caia/cXvadrjvai irjv Alyviriov' peietopoiepav yap 
direSel/cvvov virapxeiv ifj<s Alyviriov irjv Epu¬ 
li dpav daXanav. vaiepov Se 6 Seviepo<s IlToXe- 
paios avveieXeaev avirjv, icat /caia iov eirucai- 
paiaiov ibirov eprjxavijaaio n <fn\6ieyyov 
Sidcjjpaypa. iovio S’ e^rjvoiyev, oiroie fiovXono 
SiairXevaat, icat Ta^eo)? iraXiv avve/cXeiev, ev- 
12 a-ro^tas e/cXapfiavopevrp; irjs %peia<s. 6 Se Sia 
irjs Si(bpvxp<i lavirp; petov iroiaph<i ovofid£eiai 
pev diro iov /caiaa/cevdaavios UioXepalo<;, eiri 
Se irj<i e/cfioXrjs iroXiv e%ei irjv irpoaayopevopevrjv 
'A paivbijv. 

34. To S' ovv AeXia ifj ~2,i/ceXla iq> ayripaii 
irapairXrjaiov virdpxov i5>v pev irXevpdiv e/caiepav 
e^ei aiaSicov eiria/coalo>v /cal irevirj/covia, irjv Se 
fidaiv daXany irpoa/cXv^opevrjv aiaSicov xiXiwv 
2 /cal ipia/coalcov. rj Se vrjaos avirj iroXXal s 
Stcbpv^t X el P° irotrjiOK SieiXrjiriai /cal X" > P av 
irepiexei /caXXiairjv rrjs Alyviriov. iroiapox w- 
«ttos yap ovaa /cal /caiappvio<; iroXXov<i /cai 
iravioSairov<; e/ctf/epei KapiroiK, iov pev iroiapov 
Sia irjv /cai ero? dvdfiaaiv veapav 'iXvv aei 
/caiaxeovios, iS>v 8’ avdpcbircov paSia><i airaaav 
apSevbvicov Sia nvo<; prjxavrj<;, fjv eirevorjae pev 

1 Necho reigned from 609 to 693 B.c., Darius from 621 to 
485 B.o. 

2 Thia canal, not to be oonfused with the Suez Canal, left 

BOOK I. 33. 9-34. 2 

a time but finally left it unfinished; 1 for he was 
informed by certain persons that if he dug through 
the neck of land he would be responsible for the 
submergence of Egypt, for they pointed out to him 
that the Red Sea was higher than Egypt. 2 At a 
later time the second Ptolemy completed it and in 285-246 
the most suitable spot constructed an ingenious B '°' 
kind of a lock. This he opened, whenever he wished 
to pass through, and quickly closed again, a con- 
trivance which usage proved to be highly successful. 

The river which flows through this canal is named 
Ptolemy, after the builder of it, and has at its mouth 
the city called Arsinoe. 

34. The Delta is much like Sicily in shape, and 
its sides are each seven hundred and fifty stades 
long and its base, where it is washed by the sea, 
thirteen hundred stades. This island is intersected 
by many artificial canals and includes the fairest 
land in Egypt. For since it is alluvial soil and well 
watered, it produces many crops of every kind, 
inasmuch as the river by its annual rise regularly 
deposits on it fresh slime, and the inhabitants easily 
irrigate its whole area by means of a contrivance 

the Nile a little ahove Bubastis, followed the Wadi Tumilat 
to the Bitter Lakes, and then turned south, along the course of 
the present canal, to the Red Sea. Its construction has been 
placed as far hack as the 19th and even the 12th Dynasty. At 
any rate, it was again put in operation hy Darius, as is ciear from 
the inscription on the best-preserved of the five stelae disco vered: 

‘ I am a Persian. From Persia I captured Egypt. I commanded 
this canal to he huilt from the Nile, which flows in Egypt, to 
the Sea whioh comes from Persia. So was this canal built, 

“I bad commanded, and ships passed from Egypt through 
this canal to Persia, as was my purpose ” (translation in R. W. 
Rogers, Hislory of Ancient Persia, p. 120). Remains show that 
it was about 150 feet wide and 16 to 17 feet deep. 



'Apxifiij&rjs 6 'Zvpa/cooios, bvopa^erat Se am o tov 
& xvf iaTO s KoxKla<s. 

3 Ylpaeiav Se tov NelXov Tyv pvcnv irotovpevov, 
/cal yrjv 7 roXXyv /cal iravTohairyv /caTa<pepovTO<;, 
eri te /cara Tote koiXov<s Toirovi Xtpvd^ovTOf, 

4 eXrj yiverat irap<popa. pi£at yap iv ainote 
<Pvomai iraviohairal rp yeuoet /cal /capir&v /eat 
/cavX&v ISta^ovaai (f/voem, iroXXa ovpftaXXo- 
pevat t 04? airopon t&v av6 p&ircov /cal tok 

6 aaOeveai irpte avrap/ceiav. ov yap pbvov rpo<pa<! 
TrapixovTai Troi/ciXas /cal irdcn T04? heopevoui 
eroipas /cal SayfnXete, dXXa /cal t&v aXXcov t&v 
e4? to £r}v dvay/ccdmv ov/c oXlya cj/epovat /8 oyOy- 

6 para’ Xante re yap $ verat troXte, ££ ov /cara- 
<j/ceva%ovatv aprovi ol tcai Aiyvmov bvvapevovq 
e/cirXrjpovv ttjv <j>voi/ci)v tov adparos evSetav, to 
re /ci0d>ptov SayjrtXeoTaTOv virapxov <f>epet tov 

7 /caXovpevov Alyvimov /cvapov. eort Se /cal 
SevSpcov yevq irXeiova, /cal tovtcov a! pev bvopa^d- 
pevat irepoaiat /capirov btd<popov exoven ry 
yXv/cvrrjTi, peTevex^evTOi ££ AWioina<s viro 
tlepa&v tov <f>vTOv /ca6' ov /catpov KapPvarjs 

8 e/cparyaev e/ceivmv t&v tottcov t&v te ov/capivcov 
ai pev tov t&v popcov /capirov (pepovatv, ai Se tov 
t 04? ov/coi$ epcpepfj, /cal irap oXov cr^eSoj/ tov evt- 
avTOV avTOv <f>vopevov crvp/3aivet Tote diropovt 

9 /caTatpvyrjv eroipyv e^e/ v tj)? evbeiat. ra Se $dra 
/caXovpeva 1 ovvdyeTai pev /cara ttjv airox&pyatv 

1 /ivtipia after KuXoiptva deleted by Dindorf. 

1 Acoording to the description ol Vitruvius (10.6) this was a 

screw with spiral channels, “ like those ol a snail shell,” whioh 

BOOK I. 34. 2-9 

which was invented by Archimedes of Syracuse and 
is called, after its shape, a screw. 1 

Since the Nile has a gentle current, carries down 
a great quantity of all kinds of earth, and, further- 
more, gathers in stagnant pools in low places, 
marshes are formed which abound in every kind of 
piant. For tubers of every flavour grow in them 
and fruits and vegetables which grow on stalks, 
of a nature peculiar to the country, supplying an 
abundance sufficient to render the poor and the sick 
among the inhabitants self-sustaining. For not only 
do they afford a varied diet, ready at hand and 
abundant for all who need it, but they also fumish 
not a few of the other things which contribute to 
the necessities of life; the lotus, for instance, grows 
in great profusion, and from it the Egyptians make 
a bread which is able to satisfy the physical needs 
of the body, and the ciborium, which is found in great 
abundance, bears what is called the “ Egyptian ” 
bean. 2 There are also many kinds of trees, of which 
that called persea, 3 which was introduced from 
Ethiopia by the Persians when Cambyses conquered 
those regions, has an unusually sweet fruit, while 
of the fig-mulberry 4 trees one kind bears the black 
mulberry and another a fruit resembling the fig; 
and since the latter produces throughout almost the 
whole year, the resuit is that the poor have a ready 
source to tum to in their need. The fruit called 
the blackberry is picked at the time the river is 

tumed within a wooden shaft. It was worked by man-power 
and did not raise the water so high as did the water-wheel. 

2 The Nelumbium speciosum; qp. Theophrastus, Enquirg 
tnlo Planis, 4. 8. 7 (tr. by Hort in L.C.L.). 

* The Mimusops Schimperi; cp. Theophrastus, ibid. 4. 2. 5. 

* The Ficus Sycomorus; op. Theophrastus, ibid. 6. 6. 4. 



tov trorafiov. Sta Se t tjv yXvKvrrjTa tj)? cf>vaeo3% 
avT&v iv Tpayr\pMTo<i pipet KcnavaXio/ceTcu. 

10 Kcncunceva^ovai Se Kal iic t&v KptO&v Alyomtoi 
tropa Xeitropevov ov troXv rrj<! irepl tov olvov 

11 eveoS/a?, o KaXovai ^vdoi. XP^ VTaL ^ Kal 7T P° ,; 
tt]v t&v Xv^vwv Kavaiv e7Tt%eovTe? av t iXcuoy 
t 6 atrodXtftopevov e/c t tvo? $>vtov, irpoaayopevo- 
pevov Se kLki. iroXXa Se /cal aXXa ra Svvdpeva 
t a? dvayKaia<; %pe/a? trapexeadat t oi? dv0p&irot<: 
Sai/aXi) ifiverat, /cara ttjv AXyvtnov, vtrep &v 
paKpov av eX-q ypatfieiv. 

35. &rjpla S’ o NsfXo? t peccet iroXXd pev Kal 
aXXa t at? /Seat? e^rfXXaypeva, Svo Se Sidtf>opa, 
tov Te xpoxoSeiXov Kal tov KaXovpevov lttttov. 

2 TovTtov S’ o /tev KpoKo&eiXos ef eXa^e tov yiverai 
peytmo<i, t»? av &Ja jttev tov £&ou tovtov tLktovtos 
t ot? vijve/ot? TrapairXrjcna, tov Se yevvrjdevTos 

3 ai/^opevov peXP 1 trtjx&v eKKaiSeKa. Kal paKpo- 
f3iov pev em iv to? /caT’ avOpwirov, yX&mav Se 
ov* e%et. to Se acopa PavpaaT&<; viro ti)? 
<£v<reo>? d>xvpo)TaL' to pev ydp Seppa avTov trav 
<f>oXiSa)TOV ecrTt /eal tj5 aKX-pporrjTi Sultpopov, 
oSovTe? S’ ef apcfcoTepmv t&v pep&v vtrapxovai 
ttoXXol, Svo Se ot %avXtoSovTe? 7roXv tw peye9et 

4 t&v aXXcov StaXXaTTOVTe?. aapKotf>ayel S’ ov 
povov av6p&irov^, aXXa «at twv aXXcov t&v etrl 
t?}? 7?}? £®«v Ta trpoatreXd^ovTa t& troTap&, 
Kal Ta pev S-qypaTa iroiet aSpa Kal %aXe7ra, 
Tot? S’ ovvft Seiv&<: airapaTTei, Kal to Siaipe0ev 
t?}? aapKO ? 7ravTeXw? direpya^eTai SvaiaTOv. 

6 idrjpeveTo Se TavTa Ta £&a to pev iraXaiov viro 
t&v AlyviTTicov ayKLOTpois exovaiv itrtSeSeXeaa- 


BOOK I. 34. 9-35. 5 

receding and by reason of its natural sweetness is 
eaten as a dessert. The Egyptians also make a 
drink out of barley which they call zylhos, the bou- 
quet of which is not much inferior to that of wine. 
Into their lamps they pour for lighting purposes, 
not the oil of the olive, but a kind which is extracted 
from a piant and called Atii. 1 Many other plants, 
capable of supplying men with the necessities of 
life, grow in Egypt in great abundance, but it would 
be a long task to teli about them. 

35. As for animals, the Nile breeds many of 
peculiar form, and two which surpass the others, 
the crocodile and what is called the “ horse. * Of 
these animals the crocodile grows to be the largest 
from the smallest beginning, since this animal lays 
eggs about the size of those of a goose, but after 
the young is hatched it grows to be as long as six- 
teen cubits. It is as long-lived as man, and has no 
tongue. The body of the animal is wondrously 
protected by nature; for its skin is covered all over 
with scales and is remarkably hard, and there are 
many teeth in both jaws, two being tusks, much 
larger than the rest. It devours the flesh not only 
of men but also of any land animal which approaches 
the river. The bites which it makes are huge and 
severe and it lacerates terribly with its claws, and 
whatever part of the flesh it tears it renders alto- 
gether difficult to heal. In early times the Egyptians 
used to catch these beasts with hooks baited with 

1 Castor-oil. . , 

2 Called by the Greeks also hippopotamos, horse ol tne 
river,” and “horse of the Nile.” 



pev as vel as <r apicas, varepov Se itote pev Siktvois 
iraxecnv wairepel rives ix^vs, ttotc S’ eptUoXiois 
aiSppols ex t&v atcarcov Tvmopeva avvex&s eis 

6 TTjV tcetftaXtfv. TrXfjOos S’ avr&v apv8i]rov icTi 
tcara re tov irorapov teal ras irapatcetpevas 
Xlpvas, (os av troXvyovcov Te ovtcov tcal crnavlws 
viro t&v avOp&Trcov avaipov pevcov t&v pev 
yap ey^aspluv tois irXelcnois vop.ip.ov eariv &s 
deov aefiecrdai tov tcpotcoSeiXov, tois S’ dUo- 
(ftvXois aXvcrneXrjs ecttiv r/ 8r)pa TravreX&s, ovtc 

7 ovarjs iScoSlpov rrjs araptcos. dtt’ opus tov 
T fKrjOovs tovtov (pvopevov tcara t&v avOp&iruv 
r) <pv(ris tcarreaicevaae peya f3or)Qr)pa' o yap 
tcaXovp^vos Ixyevpwv, TrapaTrXtfcrios &v pucp& 
kvvI, TTeptepx^Tcu ra t&v tcpotcoSeiXuv wa avv- 
rplfiav, tIktovtos tov frjov irapa tov norapov, 
tcal to Oavpacri&TaTOv, ovre tcareadlcov ovre 
&<j)eXovpevos ovSev StareXei (f) v critc rjv riva xpelav 
teal tcaTrjvayicao-pevrjv ivepy&v eis avOp&irwv 

8 'O Se tcaXovpevos vttttos t& peyedei pev iariv 
ovtc eXaTTtov tttjx&v ttevte, tct pdirovs S' &v tcal 
SlxyXos TrapairXTjalus tois foveri rovs p^auXto- 
Sovras 6%et pel^ovs t&v dypiov v&v, rpels it; 
aptfiOTepcov t&v pep&v, &ra Se tcal teepteov tcal 
(pcovr/v ittttu irapeptfteprj, to S’ oXov tcvros tov 
cr&paros ovtc avopoiov eXeefta vti, tcal Seppa 

9 iravTwv <r\;eSoi> t&v drjplcov iaxvpoTarov. irora- 
piov Se 1 vsrapxov tcal x e P aa 1° v "ra? pev r)pipas 
iv tois vSaai iroiei yvpva^opevov tcara fiaOovs, 
rhs Se vvteras eirl t rjs %u>pa? x^o-viperai tov re 
aiTov tcal tov x^P tov > ®<TTe ei iroXinetcvov 7/v 

BOOK I. 35. 5-9 

the flesh of pigs, but since then they have hunted 
them sometimes with heavy nets, as they catch 
some kinds of fish, and sometimes from their boats 
with iron spears which they strike repeatedly into 
the head. The multitude of them in the river and 
the adjacent marshes is beyond telling, since they 
are prolific and are seldom slain by the inhabitants; 
for it is the custom of most of the natives of Egypt 
to worship the crocodile as a god, while for foreigners 
there is no profit whatsoever in the hunting of them 
since their flesh is not edible. But against this 
multitude’s increasing and menacing the inhabitants 
nature has devised a great help; for the animal 
called the ichneumon, which is about the size of a 
small dog, goes about breaking the eggs of the 
crocodiles, since the animal lays them on the banks 
of the river, and—what is most astonishing of all— 
without eating them or profiting in any way it con- 
tinually performs a service which, in a sense, has 
been prescribed by nature and forced upon the 
animal for the benefit of men. 

The animal called the “ horse ” is not less than 
five cubits high, and is four-footed and cloven-hoofed 
like the ox; it has tusks larger than those of the wild 
boar, three on each side, and ears and tail and a 
cry somewhat like those of the horse ; but the trunk 
of its body, as a whole, is not unlike that of the 
elephant, and its skin is the toughest of almost any 
beasts. Being a river and land animal, it spends 
the day in the streams exercising in the deep water, 
while at night it forages about the countryside on 
the grain and hay, so that, if this animal were 


Si Dindorf: yap. 


tovto to fyou Kal /car’ evtavTov eriKTev, eXv- 
paiveT av oXoaxep&l Tai yetopytai Tai /car’ 

10 Aiyvmov. uXlo/cerat Se /cal tovto 7roXv\eipia 
T&V TVTTTOVTCOV Toll OtSrjpoll ep/3oXlOl1‘ OTTOV 
yap av (fravfj, avvdyovaiv eV’ avTO tt Xota, Kal 
TreptOTuvTei KararpaupaTt^ovaiv orairep tuti 
Konevatv eVt aiSypoli dyKi<npoi< f , elO’ evl t&v 
ipirayevTcov evdtnovTei apxdi cnvirrrivai dcfnacri, 
pexpt av otov irapaXvdfi yevopevov egatpov, 

11 ttjv pev ovv adpKa aKXrjpav e%et Kal Svaireinov, 
t&v S' evToadev ovSev eS&Stpov, ovre airXdyxyov 
ovt ey koIXiov. 

36. Xcoph Se t&v elprjpevcov drjpicov 6 NetXoi 
eyei iravrola yevrj Ixdvcov Kal «ara to ttXtj6oi 
a-nioTa' t oh yap iyxarpioti ov povov e/e t&v 
irpoatydrooi dXtaKopevtov ira pexerat SaTjriXfj ttjv 
diroXavaiv, aXXa Kal TrXfjdoi et? raptxeiav 

2 dvirjatv dvetcXeimov. KadoXov Se Tali et? dv- 
dp&rrovi evepyeatati {nrepfidXXet irdvrai t ovi 
Kara ttjv otKOvpevrjv irorapovi. t fji yap irXrjp&- 
aecoi ttjv apxh v diro deptv&v Tpoir&v trotovpevoi 
av^erat pev p^XP 1 T 'l‘> laijpjopiai t fji peTOTrcoptvfji, 
eTrdywv S' dei veav iXiiv /Speret ttjv yrjv 6potori 
ttjv Te dpyrjv Kal airoptpov Kal cjrvTevcnpov 
tooovtov xpdvov oaov av ol yecopyovvrei ttjv 

3 x^P av edeXrjacoat. t ov yap vSaroi nrpaecoi 
(frepopevov paStcoi dirorpeirovaiv avrov ptKpoh 
X&patn, Kal rraXtv eirdyova/v evxep&i Taura 

4 StatpovvTei, orav So^rj avpcfrepetv. KadoXov Se 
ToaavTTjv t oh pev epyoti evKoirlav tt a/ae^erat, 
rot? 8’ dvdp&rroii XvaneXetav, &<ne t ovi pev 
TrXetOTOVi t&v yeorpy&v rot? dva^rjpatvopevoti 


BOOK I. 35. 9-36. 4 

prolific and reproduced each year, it would entirely 
destroy the farms of Egypt. But even it is caught by 
the United work of many men who strike it with iron 
spears; for whenever it appears they converge their 
boats upon it, and gathering about it wound it 
repeatedly with a kind of chisel fitted with iron 
barbs, 1 and then, fastening the end of a rope of tow 
to one of them which has become imbedded in the 
animal, they let it go until it dies from loss of blood. 
Its meat is tough and hard to digest and none of 
its inward parts is edible, neither the viscera 2 nor 
the intestines. 

36. Beside the beasts above mentioned the Nile 
contains every variety of fish and in numbers beyond 
belief; for it supphes the natives not only with 
abundant subsistence from the fish freshly caught, 
but it also yields an unfailing multitude for salting. 
Speaking generally, we may say that the Nile 
surpasses all the rivers of the inhabited world in 
its benefactions to mankind. For, beginning to 
rise at the summer solstice, it increases in volume 
until the autumnal equinox, and, since it is bring- 
ing down fresh mud all the time, it soaks both 
the fallow land and the seed land as well as the 
orchard land for so long a time as the farmers 
may wish. For since the water comes with a gentle 
flow, they easily divert the river from their fields 
by small dams of earth, and then, by cutting these, 
as easily let the river in again upon the land when¬ 
ever they think this to be advantageous. And in 
general the Nile contributes so greatly to the lighten- 
ing of labour as well as to the profit of the inhabi- 
tants, that the majority of the farmers, as they 

1 ».«. a harpoon. * i.e. the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys. 



Trj$ yfjg tottok i<f>iffTapevov<! tcal to airkppa 
fldXXomag eirdyeiv to fioatcrjpaTa, tcal tovtoK 
avprraTrjcravTa ? /mto tctt apag ^ Treme pfjvag 
diravTav eirl tov Qepiapov, eviov ? Se *oo<£ot? 
apoTpoK eirayayovTag /Spa^eto? ttjv eiri^dveiav 
ttjs /3e/3peypevr)$ %d>pa<; tratpovg avaipeladai tS>v 
tcapirosv %&>pi? ba-rrdvTjt iroXXfjg tcal /ca/coTraOelas. 

5 0X0 )? 7«p irana yecopyla irapa pev Tot? a.XXoi<; 
edveai jxeTa peyaXcov avaXcopaicov tcal ra\ai- 
iratpiav Sioitceliai, irapa S’ Aiyvimioig povoig 
e\axi<TTOK Sairavfjpaai tcal irovoig avytcopi^eiai, 
rj re apireXoj) vio? opoicog apSevopevrj SayjriXeiav 

6 otvov Tolt eyxcopiov; irapaatcevd^ei. ol Se %ep- 
treveiv eacrav Te? ttjv X ( * > P av T V V emtceKXvapevrjv 
tcal t ot? iroipvioK avivres prjXoftoTov Sia to 
irXrjBog t»;? voprj ? St? Tetcovia tcal Si? airotcapevia 
ia irpofiaia tcapirovvTai. 

7 To Se yivopevov irepl ttjv avdfiacnv tov NeiXov 
to»? pev ISovai da.vp.amov (ftaiveTai, to?? S’ 
atcovaaoi iravieXStg airimov. t&v yhp aXXcov 
iroiapStv diravTcov irepl iag Oepiva ? ipoira ? 
eXaiiovpevcov tcal tcaid tov eljrjs j^povov tov 
depov ? det paXXov laireivovpevatv, outo? /tovo? 
TOTe ttjv 1 apxbv Xaj 3 d>v ttj<; irXtjpdiaecog iirl 
tooovtov av^eTai tcad' rjp&pav Staie to TeXevialov 

8 7ra<7av<7xeSoi'6Trt/cX.u£ieti'T9v Atyun-Tov. dxrai/Tto? 

Se iraXiv et? lovvamiov peraffaXcov 2 tov t<rov 

1 tV omitted by F, Bekker, Dindorf. 

1 lurafiiWmv A B, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 36. 4-8 

begin work upon the areas of the land which are 
becoming dry, ijierely scatter their seed, tum their 
herds and flocks in on the fields, and after they have 
used these for trampling the seed in retura after 
four or fi ve months to harvest it; 1 while some, 
applying light ploughs to the land, tum over no 
more than the surface of the soil after its wetting 
and then gather great heaps of grain without much 
expense or exertion. For, generally speaking, every 
kind of field labour among other peoples entails 
great expense and toil, but among the Egyptians 
alone is the harvest gathered in with very slight 
outlay of money and labour. Also the land planted 
with the vine, being irrigated as are the other fields, 
yields an abundant supply of wine to the natives. 
And those who allow the land, after it has been 
inundated, to lie uncultivated and give it over to 
the flocks to graze upon, are rewarded with flocks 
which, because of the rich pasturage, lamb twice 
and are twice shom every year. a 

The rise of the Nile is a phenomenon which 
appears wonderful enough to those who have wit- 
nessed it, but to those who have only heard of it, 
quite incredible. For while all other rivers begin 
to fall at the summer solstice and grow steadily lower 
and lower during the course of the following summer, 
this one alone begins to rise at that time and in- 
creases so greatly in volume day by day that it 
finally overflows practically all Egypt. And in like 
manner it afterwards follows precisely the opposite 

1 A monument of the Old Kingdom represents sheep 
treading in the seed (the reproduction appears in J. H. Breasted, 
d Hiatory of Egypt, p. 92). 

1 Cp. the Odyssey 4. 86. 



yjpovov Kaff r/pepav i/e tov /car’ oXLyov Tcnreivov- 
t at, p*XP L av et? ttjv irpovirap^acrav a<j>iKi)Tai, 
t agiv. Kal tj)? pev %&>pa 9 ovat)? TreSuiSoi, twv 
Se iroXewv xal twv xwpwv, en Se twv dypoiKiwv 
xeipevwv ini x eL P c, ' rr0L V T(0V X w P L< * Ta>v ’ V irpoao-ty-is 
9 opoLa yi'verat rat? KvxXdai i/jjaot?. twv Se ^e/3- 
aalwv dijpLwv ra iroXXa pev viro tov nora^ioD 
TTept,Xr]<f>0evTa Bia<f>8eLpeTai fianTL&peva, riva S’ 
ei? roi»? pereaipoTepov? eK(f>evyovTa tottov? Stacrco- 
feTat, ra Se /BocncijpaTa xara tov t^? avafidae co? 
Xpovov eV rat? xwpais /cal rat? dypoLxiav; Sta- 
Tpe<f>eTai, TTpoirapa<TKeva£opevT]<; aurot? t^? rpo- 

10 </>?}?. oi S’ oxXoi irdvTa tov ttjs nXtjpwffews 
Xpovov dnoXeXvpevoL twv epywv ei? dveaiv Tpe- 
irovTaL, aui/e^w? eoTiwpevoi Kal ndvTwv twv 
irpo? rjhovijv dvijKOVTwv dvepnoBiaTws diroXav- 

11 ovre?. Sta Se dywviav ttjv £k t rj<; dvaj3daew<; 
tov iroTapov yivopevrjv xaTeo xevaoTai Net\o- 
crKOirelov vi ro twv fiacriXewv ev Ttj M ep<f>er ev 
Tovrtp Se dvdfiaaiv dxpi$w<; eV/xerpowre? oi 
T^t» tovtov BioiKij<nv exovTes e^anoaTeXXovaiv 
ei? ra? 7ro\ei? eViaroXa?, Siaaa<f)ovvT€<; ttooov; 
7riy%et? ^ Sa/CTvXoi»? dva{3e{3ijK.ev 6 Trora/to? tcai 
•n-OTe tj)z> apxh v neiroiijTai t?}? iXaTTwcrews. 

12 Sta Se roi) toiovtov Tpoirov t ?}? /xei/ aywvta<i 
dnoXveTai ira? o \ao?, irv66pevo<; ttjv tj)? av%rj- 
aet»? ei? TovvavTiov peTafioXrjv, to Se irXrj6o<; 
twv iaopevwv Kapirwv ev6v<s airavTS? npoeneyvw- 
xatnv, £k itoXXwv XP° V0>V T V? TrapaTijpijaews 
Tavrr)<; irapa roi? AlyvnTioi<; aKpifiws dvaye- 


BOOK I. 36. 8-12 

course and for an equal length of time gradually 
falis each day, until it has returned to its former 
level. And since the land is a level plain, while the 
cities and villages, as well as the farm-houses, lie 
on artificial mounds, the scene comes to resemble 
the Cyclades Islands. 1 The wild land animals for 
the larger part are cut off by the river and perish in 
its waters, but a few escape by fleeing to higher 
ground; the herds and flocks, however, are main- 
tained at the time of the flood in the villages and 
farm-houses, where fodder is stored up for them in 
advance. The masses of the people, being relieved 
of their labours during the entire time of the in- 
undation, turn to recreation, feasting all the while 
and enjoying without hindrance every device of 
pleasure. And because of the anxiety occasioned 
by the rise of the river the kings have constructed 
a Nilometer 2 at Memphis, where those who are 
charged with the administration of it accurately 
measure the rise and despatch messages to the 
cities, and inform them exactly how many cubits or 
fingers the river has risen and when it has commenced 
to fall. In this manner the entire nation, when it 
has learned that the river has ceased rising and 
begun to fall, is relieved of its anxiety, while at the 
same time all immediately know in advance how 
large the next harvest will be, since the Egyptians 
have kept an accurate record of their observations 
of this kind over a long period of terms. 

1 These are small islands, some of which “cluster” (as the 
name signifies) about the island of Delos. 

2 The Nilometer (Diodorus calls it in fact a “ Niloscope”) 
is deseribed by Strabo (17. 1. 48) as a well on the bank of the 
Nile with lines on the wall to indicate the stage of the river. 



37. M eyaXtjs S' ovarjs airopla >? irepl ttjs tov 
iroTapov irXrjp&a eros, eiriKex^P^Kaai 7 roWail t&v 
T6 <fnXoa 6(f>a>v Kal t&v ImopiK&v airoSiSovai 1 Ta? 
TavTTjs amas, nepl &v ev Ke<f>aXalois epovpev, iva 
pryre patcpas iroi&peOa Tas irapetcftdaeis prjTe 
dypa(f>ov ro irapa iraaiv eiri^rjTovpevov diroXel- 

2 irmpev. oXtos yap virep Tijs dvafida ews tov 
NetAou Kal t&v irrjy&v, <=t t Se Trjs eis QaXaTTav 
etc/3oXrjs Kal t&v aXXcov &v e%ei Sia<f>op&v irapd 
tovs dXXovs irorrapovs, peyia tos &v t&v KaTCL 
tt]v olKovpevrjv, Tives pev t&v crvyypa<f>i(ov 
airX&s ovk eToXprjcrav ovSev elireiv, Kaiirep 
elordoTes prjKvveiv evloTe irepl •yeip.dppov tov 
tvxovtos, Tives S’ eirifiaXopevoi Xeyeiv irepl t&v 
eiri^rjTOvpevmv iroXv t rjs aXrjdelas Sngpaprov. 

3 ol pev yap irepl tov 'EXXaviKov Kal KaSpov, Uti 
S' ' EKaratov, Kal irdvTes oi toiovtoi, iraXaiol 
iravTairamv ornes, eis t as pvd&Seis diro<f>d- 

4 a eis direKXivav 'HpoSoTos Se 6 iroXvirpay- 
pwv, el Kal tis aXXos, yeyov&s Kal iroXXrjs 
ItrToplas epireipos eiriKe^elp^Ke pev irepl tovtiov 
airoSiSovai Xoyov, r)KoXovdrjK&s Se dvriXeyo- 
pevais virovolais evplaKeTar 3 evo<f>&v Se Kal 
®ovkvSISt]s, iiraivovpevoi KaTa Trjv dXrjdeiav t&v 
I tTTopi&v, aireaxovro t eXetos KaTa ttjv ypa<f>t]v 
t&v Toirrov t&v KaT AiyvirTov ol Se irepl tov 
"E ijtopov Kal ®e6iropirov paXuna irdvTcov eis 
Tavi eiriTaOevTes fjKitTTa tt}s dXrjOelas eireTvyov. 

1 avotiovvai A B E, Dindorf. 

1 These early chroniolers belonged to the group whom 
Thucydides (1. 21) called logographoi (“writers of prose”) 
to distinguish them from the writera oi epic. The two chief 

BOOK I. 37. 1-4 

37. Since there is great difficulty in explaining 
the swelling of the river, many philosophers and 
historians have undertaken to set forth the causes 
of it; regarding this we shall speak summarily, in 
order that we may neither make our digression too 
long nor fail to record that which all men are curious 
to know. For on the general subject of the rise of 
the Nile and its sources, as well as on the manner 
in which it reaches the sea and the other points in 
which this, the largest river of the inhabited world, 
diifers from all others, some historians have actually 
not ventured to say a single word, although wont 
now and then to expatiate at length on some winter 
torrent or other, while others have undertaken to 
speak on these points of inquiry, but have strayed 
far from the truth. Hellanicus and Cadmus, for 
instance, as well as Hecataeus and all the writers 
like them, belonging as they do one and all to the 
early school, 1 turned to the answers offered by the 
myths; Herodotus, who was a curious inquirer if 
ever a man was, and widely acquainted with history, 
undertook, it is true, to give an explanation of the 
matter, but is now found to have followed contra- 
dictory guesses; Xenophon and Thucydides, who 
are praised for the accuracy of their histories, com- 
pletely refrained in their writings from any mention 
of the regions about Egypt; and Ephorus and 
Theopompus, who of all writers paid most attention 
to these matters, hit upon the truth the least. The 
characteristics of the group were interest in mythology and 
lack of criticism. Hellanicus of Mitylene died soon after 
406 B.o.; the historical character of Cadmus of Miletus (fi. 
sixth century B.o.) is questioned by Schmid-Stahlin (Qeschichle 
der griechischen Literatur, X. pp. 691 f.); Hecataeus of Miletus 
visiled Egypt before 626 b.o. and died soon after 494 b.o. 



kcu SieacfidXyaav ovroi ndvres oii Sia ri]v ape- 

6 Xeiav, aXXa Sia rrjv rrjs X™P a * ibiorrjra. airo 
ycip r&v dpxaiav xpbvoru ^XP l IIt oXepaiov r ov 
<t>i\aSe\<f>ov npooayopevOevros oi>x oncos rives 
r&v 'KXXrjvwv vnepefiaXov eis AWioniav, aXX 
ovSe p*XP l r “ >v °P av T ^ ? Alyvnrov npoaavefirj- 
aav ovrcos d%eva rrdivra rjv ra nepi rovs ronovs 
rovrovs icai navreX&s eniKivSvva• rov Se npoeiprj- 
fievov fiaaiXecos pe6' 'EUijuiqs Svvdpews eis 
Aldionlav np&rov arparevaavros eneyv&adrj ra 
xara rrjv xd>pav ravrrjv aicpiReorepov ano rov- 
rtov r&v xpdvayv. 

6 T^? p-ev ovv r&v nporeptov <rvyypa<peo>v ayvoias 

roiavras ras alrias awe^rj yeveoOai- ras, Se 
nrjyas rov NeiAov, icai rov ronov eg ov dvei 
rfjv apxv v T °v pevp-aros, eopaicevai pev pexpi 
r&vSe r&v laropi&v ypaipopevav ovSeis eiprj/cev 
ovS' aKorjv aneipqvaro napd r&v eopaicevai 

7- Siafiefiaiovpevwv. Sio icai rov npdyparos eis 
vnovoiav icai /caraoroxaopbv niOavov > icarav - 
r&vros, oi pev icar’ Aiyvnrov iepels ano rov 
nepippeovros rrjv ohcovpevrjv wtceavov tpaaiv aiirov 
rrjv avaraaiv Xapfidveiv, vyies pev ovSev 
Xeyovres, anopta Se rrjv anopiav Xvovres icai 
\byov (pepovres eis nlcrriv aiirov 1 noXXrjs ni- 

1 avrbr Stephaniis : atirav. 

i The second of the line, who reigned from 285 to 246 B.O. 
Following the cnstom of the Egyptian kings (op. chap. 27) 
he married his sister Arsinoe, and upon her death (or possibly 
even before; ep. J. Belooh, Qriechiache Qeachichtc, IV. 2. p. 

BOOK I. 37. 4-7 

error on the part of all these writers was due, not 
to their negligence, but to the peculiar character of 
the country. For from earliest times until Ptolemy 
who was called Philadelphus, 1 not only did no 
Greeks ever cross over into Ethiopia, but none 
ascended even as far as the boundaries of Egypt—to 
such an extent were all these regions inhospitable to 
foreigners and altogether dangerous; but after this 
king had made an expedition into Ethiopia with an 
army of Greeks, being the first to do so, the facts 
about that country from that time forth have been 
more accurately learned. 

Such, then, were the reasons for the ignorance of 
the earlicr historians; and as for the sources of the 
Nile and the region where the stream arises, not a 
man, down to the time of the writing of this history, 
has ever affirmed that he has seen them, or reported 
from hearsay an account received from any who 
have maintained that they have seen them. The 
qucstion, therefore, resolves itself into a matter of 
guesswork and plausible conjecture; and when, for 
instance, the priests of Egypt assert that the Nile 
has its origin in the ocean which surrounds the 
inhabited world, there is nothing sound in what they 
say, and they are merely solving one perplexity by 
substituting another, and advancing as proof an 
explanation which itself stands much in need of proof. 

586. n. 1 and 1. pp. 370 f.) established a cult of himself as 
ruler and of his sister-wife and eonsort as theoi adelphoi 
(“ Brother-Sister Gods ”). The epithet philadtlphoa (“sister- 
loving ”) was never horne by Ptolemy II during his lifetime; 
to his oontemporaries he was known as “ Ptolemy the son 
of Ptolemy” (cp. E. R. Bevan, A History of Egypt under 
the Ptolemaic Dynasty, p. 56, and Ferguson in Cambridge 
Ancient History, 7, p. 17. 



8 crreo)? irpoaBeofievov tqjv Se TpcoyoSvTcSv oi peT- 

avaaT<ivTe<: e/c rai» ava> tottojv Sia /cavpa, irpoa- 
ayopevopevoi Se Xeyovaiv ep,<f>atrei$ 

rivas eivai irepl tou? tottovv e/ceivovs, e£ ojv av Tt? 
avXXoyicraiTO Sioti iroXX&v irrjymv et? ena tottov 
ad poi%o pevoiv avvLfTTarai to pevpa tov NeiXov 
Sio /cal ir oXvyovdnaTOV airrov virdp^eiv iravTCOv 

9 t av yvco pi^opevmv iroTapMv. oi Se irepioi/covvTe<i 
ttjv vfjcrov ttjv ovopa^opevr]v M eporjv, oi? /cal 
paXiar’ av Tt? crvyKarddono, tjJ? pev /cara to 
iridavov evprjaiXoyia<: iroXv /ce%copicTpevois, tojv 
Se tottojv tgjv ty)TOvp.evojv eyyiara /ceipevoi<!, t fl¬ 
uo uTOf cnrej^ovcn tov Xeyeiv t i irepl tovtojv 
d/cpi/3S)s djtTTe /cal tov iroTapov AaTairovv irpoa- 
rjyopev/caaiv, oirep £<ttI pedepptjvevopevov et? tt)v 
'EXXijvoiv SiaXe/cTov e/c tov /tkotov; vScop. 

10 Ovtoi pev ovv Ttp NetXp t 77 ? ev Tot? tottoi<s 
adeojprjcria*; /cal t^? t’Sta? dyvoias ol/ceiav eradat/ 
irpoa-qyopiav S’ dXrjOeaTaTOs eivai So/cel 
Xoyos o TrXeiciTov aireyajv tov irpocrironqpaTO^. 

11 ov/c ayvocb Se oti ttjv irpoi ttjv eco tov iroTapov 
tovtov /cal ttjv 7rpo? eairepav Aifivrjv atjjopi^cov 
'HpoSoro? dvaTidrjai Aifivcn t ot? ovopa£opevoi<; 
Naua/ttout ttjv a/cpififj Oecoplav tov peidpov, /cal 
cfjrjaiv e/c Ttt>o? XipvTp; XapftdvovTa ttjv apyrjv 
tov NeiXov <f>epeadai Sia %<upa? Aidioiri/ci j? 
dpvdfjTov ov pfjv ai/Todev ovTe Tot? eiirovai 
Aifivaiv, e it e p /cal irpos aXfjdeiav eipfj/cacnv, 
ovTe ra avyypacfjei irpoae/creov avairoSei/CTa 

‘ B6kyioi C D F, Vogel: piiKyioi A B E, Bekker, Dindorf. 

BOOK I. 37. 7-11 

On the other hand, those Trogodytes, 1 known as the 
Bolgii, who migrated from the interior because of 
the heat, say that there are certain phenomena 
connected with those regions, from which a man 
might reason that the body of the Nile is gathered 
from many sources which converge upon a single 
place, and that this is the reason for its being the 
most fertile of all known rivers. But the inhabi- 
tants of the country about the island called Meroe, 
with whom a man would be most likely to agree, 
since they are far removed from the art of finding 
reasons in accordance with what is plausible and dwell 
nearest the regions under discussion, are so far from 
saying anything accurate about these problems that 
they even call the river Astapus, which means, when 
translated into Greek, “ Water from Darkness.” 

This people, then, have given the Nile a name 
which accords with the want of any first-hand Infor¬ 
mation about those regions and with their own 
ignorance of them; but in our opinion the explana- 
tion nearest the truth is the one which is farthest 
from pure assumption. I am not unaware that 
Herodotus, 2 when distinguishing between the Libya 
which lies to the east and that which lies to the 
west of this river, attributes to the Libyans known 
as the Nasamones the exact observation of the 
stream, and says that the Nile rises in a certain lake 
and then flows through the land of Ethiopia for a 
distance beyond telling; and yet assuredly no hasty 
assent should be given to the statements either of 
Libyans, even though they may have spokeri truth- 
fully, or of the historian when what he says does not 
admit of proof. 

13 1 

Book 2. 32. 


38. 'E-rreiSr, 8e irepl t&v t ryy&v f koi tt)? 
pv<T€co<s civtov SieXrfKvdafiev, 7 reipaaofieda 

2 ama? airobiSovcu t/}? -irXyp&aeavi., ©a\r)? fiev 
ovv, ei? t&v eirTa (ro<f>&v 6vofia^ofievo<;,^ <j>yai 
TOV<} eTrjaias avTLirveoVTat t at? bcfioKah tov 
7 roTUfiov KcvXveiv et? 0d\aTTai/ irpoyeLadai to 
pevfia, Kal Sta toOt’ airroi/ TrXypovpevov jm- 
kXv&iv Taireivyv ovaav Kal irebidSa Tyv Aiyvir- 

3 ror. tou Se \6yov rovroVf fcaiirep eivcu ookovvtos 
mdavov, pabiov ifrXty&u to ^eSSos. el yap 
7,v dXyOes to -rrpoeipypevov, oi iroTapoi Trai/re? 
av ot rot? hyaiaLt evavTiat r a? e/c£o\a? e%oi/-re? 
67roto0^TO tv)V opoiav avdfiaaw' ov firjhafiov tt?9 
oIkov pevys avp.f3aivomo<t ^yryjeov erepav aiTiav 

4 aXydivyv tt)? TrXyp&aeax;. ’A vagayopas o o 

d>vcnKo<s airefyyvaTo tt)? ava@acrea><; aiTiav eivai 
Tyv TyKopevyv X i« /taTd AWiomav, w «at 

6 iroiyTys Evpiirlbys paOyzyt o>v yKoXovoyKe 
Xeyei yovv 

NetXoo XtTrwi/ KaXkurtov e* yata? u&op, 

0 ? eV fie\ap.ppoTOio ■nXypomai poa<; 

AlOioirihot yyt, yvU’ av ra/tg X»®»'. 

5 «at ravryv Se tt)j/ divofyacnv ov 7 ToXXfjs avrippy- 
aea)? helaOai vvfipipyKe, <j>avepov Traow oi/to? 
ort Sw tt)j/ virepftoXyv t&v KavpaTiov aSvvaTov 

6 yiova iriineiv irepl Tyv AWioirlay- KadoXovyap 
irepl toiks TOTrovf toittoi/? ovTe Trayo<; ovre yrvyo? 
ovO' 0 X 1 o? yeip&vot e/t<^aert? yiveTai, Kai p.aXi<na. 
irepl T yv ava fiamv t ov NeiXov. et Se rt? /eat 

1 Thales doubtless meant by “etesian” the north-west 

winds which blow in summet from the Mediterranean, but 

BOOK I. 38. 1-6 

38. Now that we have discussed the sources and 
course of the Nile we shall endeavour to set forth 
the causes of its swelling. Thales, who is called one 
of the seven wise men, says that when the etesian 
winds 1 blow against the mouths of the river they 
hinder the flow of the water into the sea, and that 
this is the reason why it rises and overflows Egypt, 
which is low and a level plain. But this explanation, 
plausible as it appears, may easily be shown to be 
false. For if what he said were true, all the rivers 
whose mouths face the etesian winds would rise in 
a similar way; but since this is the case nowhere in 
the inhabited world the true cause of the swelling 
must be sought elsewhere. Anaxagoras the physical 
philosopher has declared that the cause of the rising 
is the melting snow in Ethiopia, and the poet 
Euripides, a pupil of his, is in agreement with him. 
At least he writes : 3 

He quit Nile’s waters, fairest that gush from earth, 

The Nile which, drawn from Ethiop land, the 

Man’s home, flows with full flood when melts the 

But the fact is that this statement also requires 
but a brief refutation, since it is ciear to everyone 
that the excessive heat makes it impossible that 
any snow should fall in Ethiopia; for, speaking 
generally, in those regions there is no frost or cold 
or any sign whatsoever of winter, and this is especially 
true at the time of the rising of the Nile. And even 

the term is not a precise one, as Diodorus shows in the following 

1 Frg. 228, Nauck 3 . 

x 33 


avy%(opq<TCU ^tovo? elvai TrXrjdo<: iv t ot? virep 
AlOionlav T07rot?, oyti&>? eXeyx^T ai T ° ^fvSoi ryi 

7 anocpdaea )?' 7ra? ydp woTapo? diro peeov 

bpoXoyovpevax: avpa<; avaSiScoai yp-vxpd? /cal tov 
aepa iraxvvei' nepl Se tov NeZ\ov pbvov t&v 
noTap&v ovre ve<pov<; vnomdaeK; vnapxovtriv 
oi 'it avpai tfrvxpal yivovTai ovd’ 6 arjp naxv- 

8 'HpoSoTo? Se tptjai tov Net\ov elvai pev <pvaei 

ttjXikovtov rfxiicoi r yIveTai /caTCt ttjv nXijpcoaiv, 
ev Se T(p X ei ^ vl T ° v V^- L0V T V V Ai$vtjv 

tpepopevov emanandae irpb<! eavTov noXXrjv 
vypaaiav ex tov Net\ov, /cal Sta tovto nepl tov? 
xaipoii<! tovtov? irasci rpvaiv eXcmova yiveadai 

9 tov noTajidv' tov Se depowi eniaTavTO<> anox<o- 
povvTa t fj (popa tov tjXiov wpo? t a? aptcTovs 
dva^rjpaiveiv tcal Tatreivovv tov? t« nrepi ttjv 
'E\\ dSa TroTapovs /cal tov? tcaTa ttjv aU tjv 

10 X™P av T V bpola »? e/celvTj tceijievrjv. ovk<st ovv 
elvai napaSo^ov to yivopevov nepl tov NeZXov" 
ov ydp ev t ot? /cavpaaiv av^eaOai, *oto tov 
Xeip&va Se TaneivovaOai Sia ttjv npoetprjpevrjv 

11 ahiav. ptjTeov ovv /cal npoi tovtov oti tcadrj/cav 
tjv, manep atro tov N el\ov ttjv vypaaiav o tjXio<; 
e<p ’ eavTov eniandaac tcaTa tov? to 5 ^eipw 
«atpov?, ov to) /cal ano t eov aXXcov t&v tcaTa 
ttjv Aiftvrjv ovtcov noTap&v dvaXapfidveiv t t 
t&v vyp&v /cal Taneivovv tb tpepopeva petipaTa. 

12 eVet S ’ ovSapov t »}? A i0vtj<; ovSev toiovtov 
yivopevov decopeiTai, nepi<pav&$ o avyypa<pev<i 

evpiatceTaf tcal ydp oi nepl ttjv 
'EX.\aSa noTapol ttjv avgrjaiv ev tij> %et/tcovt 

BOOK I. 38. 6-12 

if a man should admit the existence of great quanti- 
ties of snow in the regions beyond Ethiopia, the 
falsity of the statement is stili shown by this fact: 
every river which flows out of snow gives out cool 
breezes, as is generally agreed, and thickens the 
air about it; but the Nile is the only river about 
which no clouds form, and where no cool breezes 
rise and the air is not thickened. 

Herodotus 1 says that the size of the Nile at its 
swelling is its natural one, but that as the sun travels 
over Lfyya in the winter it draws up to itself from 
the Nile a great amount of moisture, and this is the 
reason why at that season the river becomes smaller 
than its natural size ; but at the beginning of summer, 
when the sun tums back in its course towards the 
north, it dries out and thus reduces the level of both 
the rivers of Greece and those of every other land 
whose geographical position is like that of Greece. 2 
Consequently there is no occasion for surprise.he says, 
in the phenomenon of the Nile; for, as a matter of 
fact, it does not increase in volume in the hot season 
and then fall in the winter, for the reason just given. 
Now the answer to be made to this explanation also 
is that it would follow that, if the sun drew moisture 
to itself from the Nile in the winter, it would also 
take some moisture from all the other rivers of 
Libya and reduce the flow of their waters. But 
since nowhere in Libya is anything like this to be 
seen taking place, it is ciear that the historian is 
caught inventing an explanation; for the fact is 
that the rivers of Greece increase in winter, not 

1 Book 2. 25. 

2 ».«. in the north latitude. 



Xapfiavovmv ov hia to paKpoTepov acfilcTTacrdcu 
rov rjXiov, aXXa hia to irXrj8o<; t&v yivopevrov 

39. A77 poKpiTO<s h' 6 ’A/38rjpLTT]<; <f>rj<rlv ov tov 
irepl ttjv peoijpfipiav tottov ^to^/feo-flai, Kaddirep 
elptjKev Evpnrthrj<; Kal ' Ava%ayopa<;, dXXa rov 
ir epl ra? apKTov<;, Kal tovto epipaves elvai iraai. 

2 to Se 1rXrj8o<! rrj<i <Taspevopevij<; ^iow? iv rot? 
ftopeloK (tepeat irepl pev rd? Tpoira<s peveiv 
7r6777770?, iv Se t& depei hiaXvopevatv viro tt)? 
8eppaala<i t&v irdytov iroXXrjv TtjKehova ylve- 
adai, Kal hia tovto iroXXa yevvaadai Kal iraxea 
ve<j>tj irepl toii? peTeoipoTepow; t&v toitwv, hatfri- 
XoO? tt)? dvadvpiaaem irpo<; to ut/to? aipopevtji. 

3 Tavra S’ viro t&v eTtjaiwv eXavveadai, pe\pt av 
otov irpoairearj to»? peyiaioi^ opem t&v KaTa 
tijv oIkov pevrjv, a <f>rjmv elvai irepl ttjv AWioiriav' 
eireiTa tt/jo? tootoi? ovcriv vyfrrjXoi<; fiiaiw<t 
dpavopeva irappeyedevr opftpowr yevvav, e% &v 
irXrjpovadat tov iroiapov paXiaia KaTa tijv t&v 

4 iTtjcritov &pav. pahiov Se Kal tovtov e^eXey^ai 
tov? XP° V0V * T V <! av^vereMS aKpift&s i%eTd£ovTa’ 
6 yap NetXo? ap\eTai piv irXrjpovadai KaTcL ra? 
depivai f Tpoird<;, ovirro t&v eTtjaiwv irveovTtov, 
Xrjyei S’ varepov hmjpepla^ (f>8tvoira>pivrj<;, iraXai 

5 irpoireiravpevcov t&v elptjpevrov avepatv. otov 
ovv 77 iryr irelpat aKpl@eia KaTicrxvrj Ttjv t&v 
Xoytov irtdavoTtjTa, ttjv pev eirivotav Tavhpo<i 
airoheKTeov, ttjv Se iriaTiv toi<; vir’ avrov Xeyo- 

6 pevot<! ov SoTeov. irapirjpi yap Kal hioTi tovs 
ir-rjalai; Ihelv eaTlv ovhev ti paXXov diro Trjs 


BOOK I. 38. 12-39. 6 

becausc the sun is farther away, but by reason of 
the enormous rainfall. 

39. Democritus of Abdera 1 says that it is not the 
regions of the south that are covered with snow, as 
Euripides and Anaxagoras have asserted, but only 
those of the north, and that this is evident to every- 
one. The great quantities of heaped-up snow in 
the northern regions stili remain frozcn until about 
the time of the winter solstice, but when in summer 
its solid masses are broken up by the heat, a great 
melting sets up, and this brings about the formation 
of many thick clouds in the higher altitudes, since 
the vapour rises upwards in large quantities. These 
clouds are then driven by the etesian winds until 
they strike the highest mountains in the whole 
earth, which, he says, are those of Ethiopia; then 
by their violent impact upon these peaks, lofty as 
they are, they cause torrential rains which swell 
the river, to the greatest extent at the season of 
the etesian winds. But it is easy for anyone to refute 
this explanation also, if he will but note with pre- 
cision the time when the increase of the river takes 
place; for the Nile begins to swell at the summer 
solstice, when the etesian winds are not yet blow- 
ing, and commences to fall after the autumnal 
equinox, when the same winds have long since ceased. 
Whenever, therefore, the precise knowledge derived 
from experience prevails over the plausibility of 
mere argumentation, while we should recognize the 
man’s ingenuity, yet no credence should be given 
to his statements. Indeed, I pass over the further 
fact that the etesian winds can be seen to blow just 

1 Democritus was a contemporary of Socrates and the 
first Greek who attempted to embrace in his writings ali the 
knowledge of his time. 



apicrov irviovTas fjirep ttjs ea Tripas' ov /Sopiat 
yap ovS' airapKTiat povot, dXXa tcal oi irviovTes 
atro Oeptvrjs Svaecos apyiarat Kotvcovovat Trjs t&v 
eTTjaicov Trpoarjyoptas. to Te Xiyetv &s piytara 
avji/Satvet t&v op&v virdpxetv tcl irept ttjv 
AlQtoirtav ov jiovov dvairoSetKTov eanv, dXX’ 
ovSe ttjv irimtv e^et Sta tFjs eva pyelas * 1 avyx<v- 

7 *E<f>opos Se KatvoTUTTjv aWtav elaiftipcov irtOa- 
voXoyetv ptev iretpaTat, Trjs S' aXrjOeias ovSapt&s 
eTTtTvyxdvcov Oecopeirat. fyrjal yap ttjv AiyvirTov 
airatrav ovaav iroTapoxcoaTov icat xavvrjv, en 
Se Kiarjp&Srj ttjv <f>vatv, paydSas Te fteydXas /eai 
SnjveKets e^etv, Sta Se tovtqtv eis eavTTjv dva- 
Xap/Sdvetv vypov irXrjO os, tcal KaTa ptev ttjv 
Xetpepivrjv &pav avvkyetv iv eavTrj tovto, xaTa 
Se ttjv Qeptvrjv &anep tSp&Tas Ttvas i£ avTTjs irav- 
t ayoQev dvtivat, /cal Sta tovtotv irXrjpovv tov 

8 troTaptov. 6 Se avyypacjievs ovtos ov ptovov rjptv 
<patveTat p.rj TeOeaptevos ttjv <f>uatv t&v KaTa 
elSoTtov Ta KaTa ttjv \&pav TavTTjv eirtpeX&s 

9 iren ver/aevos. irp&Tov ptev yap, etirep 0; ainrjs 
TTJS AlyviTTOV 6 NetXos ttjv av^rjaiv eXdptftavev, 
ovk av iv tois avcoTipeo ptepecriv iirXijpovTo, Sta 
Te ireTp&Sovs xal crTepeas x<*>pas Qepopevos' vvv 
Si irXetay t&v i^aKiaxtXlarv tnaSlcav Sta ttjs 
AWiotrlas pecov ttjv irXrjpLoatv l^et irpiv rj 

1 ivapytlas Wesseling : ivcpyttas. 

1 Two names given to north winda. 

1 i.e, the north-west. 

BOOK I. 39. 6-9 

as much from the west as from the north; since 
Borean and Aparctian 1 winds are not the only winds 
which are called etesian, but also the Argestean, 
which blow from the direction of the sun’s summer 
setting. 2 Also the statement that by general agree- 
ment the highest mountains are those of Ethiopia 
is not only advanced without any proof, but it does 
not possess, either, the credibility which is accorded 
to facts established by observation. 3 

Ephorus, who presents the most recent explana- 
tion, endeavours to adduce a plausible argument, 
but, as may be seen, by no means arrives at the 
truth. For he says that all Egypt, being alluvial 
soil and spongy, 4 and in nature like pumice-stone, is 
full of large and continuous cracks, through which 
it takes up a great amount of water; this it retains 
within itself during the winter season, but in the 
summer season it pours this out from itself every- 
where like sweat, as it were, and by means of this 
exudation it causes the flood of the river. But this 
historian, as it appears to us, has not only never 
personally observed the nature of the country in 
Egypt, but has not even inquired with any care 
about it of those who are acquainted with the char¬ 
acter of this land. For in the first place, if the 
Nile derived its increase from Egypt itself, it would 
then not experience a flood in its upper stretches, 
where it flows through a stony and solid country; 
yet, as a matter of fact, it floods while flowing over 
a course of more than six thousand stades through 

' i.e. there is no evidence from witnesses that they appear 
to be exceedingly high. 

4 The words mean literally “ poured out by a river ” and 



10 faverat irjs AiyvirTov. eiren' ei pev to pevpa 
tov NetXov Taireivorepov r,v tcov kcltci ttjv ttotcl- 
poycocnov yrjv apaicopaicov, emirokaiovs av 
elvai Tac paydSas avvefiaive, Kad' as dSvvaTov 
Jjv Siapeveiv toctovto irkrjdos SSaros' ei 8’ 
vyfnjkoTepov rbirov eireixev 6 irorapos tcov 
dpatcopaTcov, dSvvaTov tjv £k tcov TaireivoTepcov 
Koikcopcncov eis ttjv vrfnjkoTepav eiricpaveiav Trjv 
tcov iiypcov avppvaiv yiveaBai. 

11 K aOoKov Se tls av Svvarov rjyrjaaiTO tovs £k 
tcov KaTa t r)v yrjv apaicopAicov iSpanas to- 
a-avTt)v av^rjcriv tov iroTapov iroielv eoa Te vir' 
avTov axeSov iracrav ttjv Alyvmov eiriKkv^e- 
adai ; acpirjpi yap /cal to rjrevSos t rjs Te iroTa- 
po-ycocrTov y rjs /cal tcov ev toIs dpaicbpaai 
vrjpovpevcov vSutcov, epepavebv ovtcov tcov ev 

12 tovtois ikeyycov. 6 pev yap MaiavSpos iroTapos 
KaTa t rjv 'Acrlav irokkrjv ycopav ireiroirjKe 
TroTap-oycoaTov, ev p tcov avpfiaivovrcov irepl 
Trjv dvairkrjpcoaiv tov Neikov to avvokov oiiSev 

13 decopeirai yivopevov. opoicos Se tovto> irepl pev 
Ttjv 'A/capvaviav 6 Kakovpeios 'Ayekcoos iroTa- 
pbs, irepl Se t rjv Boicoriav 6 Krjepiabs epepopevos 
£k tcov (frcoKecov irpooKeycoKev ovk okiyrjv ycopav, 
iep' eov apeporepeov ekeyyeTai epavepebs to rpevSos 
tov avyypaepecos. aXka yap ovk av tls irap 
'Ecpopcp ^TjTr/aeLev £k iravTOS Tpoirov TaKpifies, 
opebv ai/TOV ev iroWols drkiycoprjKOTa t rjs akrj- 
deias . 

40. Tcov S' ev Mepcpei Tives cpikoaocpeov iireyel- 
prjaav aiTLav cpepeiv t rjs irkrjpcbaecos avetjekeyKTOv 
pdkkov rj irtdavijv, f/ iroXkol avyKaiaTeQeiVTai. 

BOOK I. 39. 9-40. 1 

Ethiopia before ever it touches Egypt. Secondly, 
if the stream of the Nile were, on the one hand, 
lower than the rifts in the alluvial soil, the cracks 
would then be on the surface and so great an amount 
of water could not possibly remain in them; and if, 
on the other hand, the river occupied a higher level 
than the rifts, there could not possibly be a flow of 
water from the lower hollows to the higher surface. 

In general, can any man think it possible that the 
exudations from rifts in the ground should produce 
so great an increase in the waters of the river that 
practically ali Egypt is inundated by it! For I 
pass over the false statements of Ephorus about the 
ground being alluvial and the water being stored 
up in the rifts, since the refutation of them is mani- 
fest. For instance, the Meander river in Asia has 
laid down a great amount of alluvial land, yet 
not a single one of the phenomena attending the 
flooding of the Nile is to be seen in its case. And like 
the Meander the river in Acarnania known as the 
AcheloOs, and the Cephisus in Boeotia, which flows 
out of Phocis, have built up not a little land, and in 
the case of both there is ciear proof that the his- 
torian’s statements are erroneous. However, under 
no circumstances would any man look for striet 
accuracy in Ephorus, when he sees that in many 
matters he has paid little regard to the truth. 

40. Certain of the wise men in Memphis have 
undertaken to advance an explanation of the flood¬ 
ing, which is incapable of disproof rather than 
credible, and yet it is accepted by many. They 


2 Statpovpevoi yap ttjv yrjv et? rpla pepij (fiaalv 
VTrdp%eiv ev pev t o /cara ttjv rjperepav oIkov- 
pevrjv, erepov Se to toi/toi? toi? to7toi? dvTtire- 
irovOot Tat? oopai<s, to Se t pirov peragi) pev 
KelaOat tovtcov, virdp-^eLV Se Sta tcavpa dotKrjrov. 

3 ei /ter ovv 6 NetXo? dvefiaive /taxa toj/ toO 
^et/tcoro? tccupov, hrjXov av 1 vrrrjpx^v a>? e/e tt;? 
/ea#’ 17/ta? £co 1/77? Xap/3dvet ttjv errippvcnv Sta 
to 7rept toi/toi»? T00? Katpovs paXima ylveadat 
irap t a? eiropj3pta<: m «rei Se roivamlov 
rrepl to #e'po? trXrjpovTat, irtffavov elvat icara 
too? aim/cei/ieroo? T07roo? yevvaadat t 00? ^ei/tai- 
j/a?, /eai to rrXeovd^ov t£>v icar’ eVetroo? too? 
T07roo? vSdrcov ei? t^j/ /ea#’ 17/ta? obcovpevrjv 

4 <j)epea 0 cu. Sto /eai 71730? xa? rrrjy&s too NeiXoo 
prjBeva hvvaadat rrapeXdelv, a>? ar e’/c T77? 
ei/arxia? fwri?? StA tt}? aotKrjTov (pepopevov too 
TTOTdpov. paprvpelv Se toi/toi? /eai t^o vrrepfioXrjv 
ttj<s y\vKVTtjTO<! too /eaTa t or Nei\or oSoto?’ 
StA 7073 t% KaTaiceicavpevrji avrov peovra 
Kaffeyjretrdat, /eat Sta tooto yXvKxnarov elvat 
rrdvTcov t too rrorapdiv, are <pvcret too 7ropcoSoo? 
irav to 07/101/ drroyXvKatvovTO<;. 

5 Ooto? S’ o \o70? e^et pev riva 2 rrpoxetpov 
dviLpprjatv, oti 7raj/Te\a>? dhvvarov elvat So/cet 
trorapov e/e ttj? dvTUceipevrji; obcovpevrjs et<s ttjv 
rjperepav avatpepeadat, icat paXiar' et Tt? 0770- 

1 &v added by Hertlein. 

* rivi D, Vogel: rivet <pavtp ctv xal other MSS., Bekker, 


BOOK I. 40. 2-s 

divide the earth into three parts, and say that one 
part is that which forms our inhabited world, that 
the second is exactly opposed to these regions in its 
seasons, and that the third lies between these two 
but is uninhabited by reason of the heat. 1 Now if 
the Nile rose in the winter, it would be ciear that 
it was receiving its additional waters from our zone 
because of the heavy rains which fall with us in that 
season especially; but since, on the contrary, its 
flood occurs in the summer, it is probable that in 
the regions opposite to us the winter stonns are 
being produced and that the surplus waters of those 
distant regions flow into our inhabited world. And 
it is for this reason that no man can joumey to the 
sources of the Nile, because the river flows from the 
opposite zone through the uninhabited one. A 
further witness to this is the excessive sweetness of 
the water of the Nile; for in the course of the river 
through the torrid zone it is tempered by the heat, 
and that is the reason for its being the sweetest of 
all rivers, inasmuch as by the law of nature that 
which is fiery always sweetens 2 what is wet. 

But this explanation admits of an obvious rebuttal, 
for plainly it is quite impossible for a river to flow 
uphill into our inhabited world from the inhabited 
world opposite to ours, especially if one holds to 

1 i.e., they postulated a south temperate zone, con-espond- 
ing to the noith temperate, and separated from it by the 
torrid zone. The Nile, according to them, rose in the south 
temperate zone. They were not in fact so far astray in the 
matter, the White Nile rising just a little south of the equator, 
although the waters of the annual inundation come from 
the Blue Nile, which has its sources in the table-land of Abys- 

4 water is freshened (“sweetened ”) by being heated. 



dono a<f>aipoeiSrj rrjv yrjv vrrdpxeiv. Kal 7 hp 
idv Tt9 to i<s Xoyoi<; /cararoXptjvas fiiagrjrai ttjv 
ivapyeiav, rj ye (fivcris rebv tt payparwv ovSapd)? 
avy^wprjaei. KadoXov pev yap avegeXeyKTOv 
diroffiacnv elarjyovpevoi, ical ttjv aol/crjTov %dtpav 
peragi) ndepevoi, rav ttj Sia<f>evgetrdai roii<: 

6 d/cpifien eX&yxpvi vopLgovai' Sltcaiov Se T0119 
Trepl t ivorv Sia/3eftaiovpevov<: rj ttjv ivapyeiav 
■nape^eadai paprvpovaav rj xa? diroSelgeii} 
Xap$dveiv ig apxrj<: avyKexa>pr}peva<i. irS><; Se 
povo<! 6 NelXo? ig iiceivi 79 tt)<; olKovpevrj<} <f>eperai 
7 T/ 30 ? T0119 Kad' r/pa<: tottovs ; eUos yap elvai 
Kal eTepov<{ irorapov^, Ka8d.Tr ep Kal irap r)piv. 

1 rj re rrj<s Trepl to vSapyXvKVT-rjTO? airla TravTeXw^ 
0X0709. el 7 itp Kaderjropevo? viro rav Kavpdrcov 
6 TTOTapo<! iyXvKalvero, iroXvyovos ovk av r/v 
ovSe rroucLXas 1^8vwv Kal drjplorv lSea<: el^e’ rrav 
yap vStop vt ro Trjs irvpd>Sov<; <f>vaea><; dXXoicodev 

8 dXXoTpidnaTov emi gwoyovlas. Siorrep rfj 
irapeiaayopevr) Kaderjrrjaei Trj<; <pvaeco<: tov 
N elXov iravTaTraaiv evavriovpevrj? yfrevSeis ren 
elprjpeva 9 anlatj 1-779 TrXrjpwaewi rjyijTeov. 

41 . OlvoTriSrj<s Se 6 Xto9 <f>rj<n Kara pev ttjv 
depivrjv wpav t a vSara Karci rrjv yrjv elvai 
yfrvxpd, tov Se x e, 8 L ^ 3v0< ' Tovvavriov deppa, Kal 
tovto evSrjXov irrl twv fiadewv (frpeaTrov ylveadar 
Kara pev yap rpv aKptjv tov ^et/ioji '09 rjKima 
to vScop ev avToi<; virdpxeiv rfrvxpbv, Kara, Se 
t d peyima /ravpara rjrvxpoTarov ig avrwv 

1 Practically nothing more is known of Oenopides than 
that he was an astronomer and mathematician of the fifth 
century B.o. 


BOOK I. 40. 5-41. 1 

the theory that the earth is shaped like a sphere. 
And indeed, if any man makes bold to do violence, 
by means of mere words, to facts established by 
observation, Nature at least will in no wise yield to 
him. For, in general, such men think that, by 
introducing a proposition incapable of being dis- 
proved and placing the uninhabited region between 
the two inhabited ones, they will in this way avoid 
ali precise refutations of their argument; but the 
proper course for such as take a firm position on any 
matter is either to adduce the observed facts as 
evidence or to find their proofs in statements which 
have bcen agreed upon at the outset. But how can 
the Nile be the only river which flows from that 
inhabited world to our parts? For it is rcasonable 
to suppose that other rivers as well are to be found 
there, just as there are many among us. More- 
over, the cause which they advance for the sweet- 
ness of the water is altogether absurd. For if the 
river were sweetened by being tempered by the 
heat, it would not be so productive as it is of life, 
nor contain so many kinds of fishes and animals; 
for all water upon being changed by the fiery element 
is quite incapable of generating life. Therefore, 
since by the “ tempering ” process which they intro- 
duce they entirely change the real nature of the 
Nile, the causes which they advance for its flooding 
must be considered false. 

41. Oenopides of Chios 1 says that in the summer 
the waters under the earth are cold, but in the 
winter, on the contrary, warm; and that this may 
be clearly observed in deep wells, for in midwinter 
their water is least cold, while in the hottest weather 



2 vypov ava<f>epeaOat. Sto /eat rov NeiXov evXoyco? 
/card fiev rov x etfi&va fit/cpov elvat icat avareXXe- 
aOat, Sta to rrfv fiev /caret yrjv Oeppaaiav ro 
7 roXv t r}? vypa? ovatae dvaXia/cetv, Sfi/3pov? Se 
/cara t rjv AXyvrrrov prj yiveaOat' /carit Se ro 
Oepo? firf/cert rfj? /cara yrj v arravaXa/aeoi)? ytvo- 
fievr)? ev rot? /carit /3a0o <? rbrrot? rrXrjpovaOat 
rrjv /carit tf/vatv avrov pvatv ctvepiroSiaro}?. 

3 prjreov Se /cat rrpio? rovrov ori rroXXol rrorapot 
r&v /carit rrjv Atftvrjv bfwiw? fiev /cetfievot rot? 
arofiaat, rraparrXrjaiov? Se rd? pvaet? rrotov- 
fievot, rrjv dvafiaatv ov/c e^ovatv avaXoyov rip 
N eiXrp' rovvavriov ydp ev fiev rip \etfi5>vt 
7 rXrjpovpevot, /carit Se ro Oepo? Xrjyovre? eXeyxpvat 
ro rfrevSo? rov rretpa/fievov rov ? mOavoi? /cara- 
fiayeadat r rjv aXrjOetav. 

4 "E yytara Se rf) aXrjOeia rrpoaeXrjXvOev 'Aya- 
dapxtSrj? 6 KviSto?. tfyrjal ydp /car ivtavrov ev 
roi? /card rrjv AlOtorriav opeat yiveaOat avvexei? 
ofifipov? ctrrb Oeptvwv r porro/v fiexpt rrj? fiero- 

6 rrmptvrj? larjfiepta?' eiiXoyeo? ovv rov NeiXov ev 
fiev rip yetfia/vt avareXXeaOat, rrjv /card <f>vatv 
e^opra pvatv diro fiovcov r&v rrrjyaiv, /cara Se 
ro Oepo? Std rov? e/cyeofievov? opfipov? Xafifid- 

6 vetv r rjv av^rjatv. ei oe ra? alria? prjSel? arro- 
Sovvat Svvarat fi&xpt rov vvv rrj? rdiv vSarwv 
yeveaeo)?, ov rrpoarj/cetv 1 dOereiaOat rrjv IStav 
arrotf/aatv • rroXXd ydp rrjv tfrvatv evavrim? (frepetv, 
S)v ra? atria? ov/c i<f>i/crov avOpdsrrot? a/cpi/3ib? 

1 ‘wpo/rtiKfir Rhodomann : npo<rt)Ki i. 


BOOK I. 41. 1-6 

the coldest water is drawn up from them. Conse- 
quently it is reasonable that the Nile should be 
small and should diminish in the winter, sincc the 
heat in the earth consumes the larger part of the 
moisture and therc are no rains in Egypt; while 
in the summer, since there is no longer any con- 
sumption of the moisture down in the depths of the 
earth, the natural flow of the river is increased with- 
out hindrance. But the answer to be given to this 
explanation also is that there are many rivers in 
Libya, whose mouths are situated like those of the 
Nile and whose courses are much the same, and yet 
they do not rise in the same manner as the Nile; 
on the contrary, flooding as they do in the winter 
and receding in the summer, they refute the false 
statement of any man who tries to overcome the 
truth with specious arguments. 

The nearest approach to the truth has been made 
by Agatharchides of Cnidus. 1 His explanation is as 
follows: Every year continuous rains fall in the 
mountains of Ethiopia from the summer solstice to 
the autumnal equinox; and so it is entirely reason¬ 
able that the Nile should diminish in the winter 
when it derives its natural supply of water solely 
from its sources, but should increase its volume in 
the summer on account of the rains which pour 
into it. And just because no one up to this time 
has been able to set forth the causes of the origin 
of the flood waters, it is not proper, he urges, that 
his personal explanation be rejected; for nature 
presents many contradictory phenomena, the exact 
causes of which are beyond the power of mankind 

1 Agatharchides was a historian and geographer of the 
second century B.o. 



7 e^evpeiv. paprvpeiv Se Tot? v<p’ eavrov Xeyo- 
pevois /cai to yivopevov rrepl rivas rorrovs rrjs 
Aalas’ rrpos pev yap rois opois rrjs S/cv6las 
rois rrpos ro K.av/cdaiov opos crvvdrrrovai, rrape- 
XrjXvdoros rjSrj rov yeipmvos, /cad' e/caarov er os 
vi(perovs itjaiaCous yiveadai avve^ws irrl rroXXas 
rjpepas, ev Se rots rrpos fioppav ear pappe vois 
pepeai rrjs 'IvSi/crjs drpiapevois /caipois /cai 
XaXafav drnarov to peyedos /cai to rrXrjdos 
/carapdrreiv, /cai rrepl pev rov 'TSaarrrjv rrora- 
pov dpxopevov depovs avvexeis op/3povs yiveadai, 
/cara Se rrjv AWiorrlav ped' rjpepas rivas ravro 
avpftalvetv, /cai ravrrjv rrjv rreplaraaiv /cv/cXov- 
pevrjv de l roiis ewe^e is rorrovs ^etyuafetv. 

8 ovSev ovv elvai rrapaSofjov el /cai /cara rrjv 
Atdiomav rr/v /ceipevrjv vrrep Alyvnrov avveyets 
ev roiis opeaiv opftpoi /carapdrrovres ev ra> Oepei 
rrXrjpovai rov rrorapov, aXXcos re /cai rfjs evap- 
yelas 1 avrrjs paprvpovpevrjs viro r&v rrepl roiis 

9 rorrovs oi/covvrcov /3ap/3dpa>v. el Se rois rrap’ 
rjpiv yivopevois evavrlav e%et ra Xeyopeva ifrvaiv, 
ov Sia rovT amarrjreov' /cai yap rov vorov rrap 
ripiv pev elvai xeipepiov, rrepl Se rrjv AWiorrlav 
aWpiov vrrapxeiv, /cai ras /3opelovs rrvoas rrepl 
pev rrjv \Lvpdrrrrjv evrovovs elvai, /car' e/celvrjv Se 
rrjv x t *>P av ftXrixpas /cai arovovs. 1 

10 Kal rrepl pev rrjs rrXrj para eas rov N elXov, Sv- 
vdpevoi rroi/ciXdrrepov avreirreiv rrpos arravras, 
ap/ceadrjaopeda rois elprjpevois, iva prj rrjv e% 
dpxv? vpiv rrpo/ceipevrjv avvroplav vrrepffalvco- 
pev. errel Se rrjv fiifiXov ravrrjv Sia to peyedos 

1 ivapyttas Wesseling: ivcpydas, 


BOOK I. 41. 6-10 

to discover. As to his own statement, he adds, testi- 
mony to its truth is furnished by what takes place in 
certain regions of Asia. For on the borders of Scythia 
which abut upon the Caucasus mountains, annually, 
after the winter is over, exceptionally heavy snow- 
storms occur over many consecutive days; in the 
northern parts of India at certain seasons hailstones 
come beating down which in size and quantity 
surpass belief; about the Hydaspes river continuous 
rains fall at the opening of summer; and in Ethiopia, 
likewise, the same thing occurs some days later, this 
climatical condition, in its regular recurrence, always 
causing storms in the neighbouring regions. And 
so, he argues, it is nothing surprising if in Ethiopia 
as well, which lies above Egypt, continuous rains in 
the mountains, beating down during the summer, 
swell the river, especially since the plain faet itself 
is witnessed to by the barbarians who inhabit those 
regions. And if what has been said is of a nature 
opposite to what occurs among us, it should not be 
disbelieved on that score; for the south wind, for 
example, with us is accompanied by stormy weather, 
but in Ethiopia by ciear skies, and in Europe the 
north winds are violent, but in that land they are 
gentle and light. 

With regard, then, to the flooding of the Nile, 
though we are able to answer with more varied 
arguments all who have offered explanations of it, 
we shall rest content with what has been said, in 
order that we may not overstep the principle of 
brevity which we resolved upon at the beginning. 
And since we have divided this Book into two parts 

rravr eXis kaStvtU added by D. 

* (tal 



et? Svo p-epr) SiypijKapev, crroya^opAvoi rf}<s <rvp- 
perplas, ttjv irpcoTtjv pepLSa t&v tiTTopovfiivcav 
avTov Trepiypd^opev, to Se awexv T ® v /cara 
ttjv Alyvmov i<nopovpeva>v ev t fj SevTepa /cara - 
t d%op.ev, apxv v TroiTja-dpevoi f rjv airayyeXLav rwv 
yevopivwv ftacriXewv Trjs Alyxmiov icai t ov 
iraXaioTaTov fiLov irap AlyvTrrioi<s. 

BOOK I. 4i. io 

because of its length, inasmuch as we are aiming at 
due proportion in our account, 1 at this point we 
shall close the first portion of our history, and in the 
second we shall set forth the facts in the history of 
Egypt which come next in order, beginning with the 
account of the former kings of Egypt and of the 
earliest manner of life among the Egyptians. 

1 Cp. p. 96, n. X. 


42. T779 Trp(OTT)<s t &v AtoS&pov (HifiXtov Sia to 
peye0os eis Svo /3l0Xovs Siypijpevrjs r) Trp&Tf] pev 
Trepieyei irpoolpiov irepi 0X779 Trjs irpaypaieias 
Kai to Xeyopeva irap hlyvmlois 1repi Trjs t ov 
Koapov yeveaews Kal tij 9 t &v oXtov ii; apxfc 
avmaaeo 79, irpos Se tovtois irepi t&v 0e&v, oaoi 
iroXeis eKTiaav /car’ AiyvirTov e-nwvvpovs eav t&v 
Troiija-avres, Trepi Te t&v irp&Tiov yevopevoiv 
av0p&ir(ov Kai tov iraXaioTaTOV fiiov, Trjs Te t&v 
adavaTmv Tip-fjs Kal tt)s t&v va&v KaTaoKevijs , 
e^rjs Se irepi Trjs Toiro0eaias Trjs kot AiyvirTov 
X&pas Kal t&v irepi tov NetXoi' iroTapov itapa- 
SogoXoyovfievmv, tt }9 Te tovtov irXrjp&aews Tas 
aWias Kal t&v itnopiK&v Kal (jriXoaoifrcov dirotfra- 
aeis, It 1 Se Tas irpos eKamov t&v trvyy pa<pewv 
2 avTtpprjtreis • ev TavTrj Se tt} /3i/3X<p t a vovear) 
tois irpoetprjpevois Sieijipev. apxope0a Se airo 
t&v yevopevcov irp&Torv Kar’ Aiyv-mov /3aaiXea>v, 
Kal to9 KaTa pepos av t&v irpdgeis eK0r\abpe0a 
pexpt 'ApdaiSos tov ftaaiXecos, irpoeK0epevoi 
Ke<f>aXaia)S&s tt)V apxaiOTiiTTjv aya>yr)V T&v Kai' 

43. Bip yap to iraXaiov Alyvmiovs (fratri 
XpfprScu to pev apxo-ioTaTov irbav eaOiovias Kal 


Xbis title is found in A. 


42. The First Book of Diodorus being divided 
because of its length into two volumes, the first 
contains the preface to the whole treatise and the 
accounts given by the Egyptians of the genesis of the 
world and the first forming of the universe ; then he 
telis of the gods who founded cities in Egypt and 
named them after themselves, of the first men and 
the earliest manner of life, of the honour paid to the 
immortals and the building of their temples to them, 
then of the topography of Egypt and the marvels 
related about the river Nile, and also of the causesof its 
flooding and the opinions thereupon of the historians 
and the philosophers as well as the refutation of each 
writer. 1 In this volume we shall discuss the topics 
which come next in order after the foregoing. We 
shall begin with the first kings of Egypt and set forth 
their individual deeds down to King Amasis, after we 569-526 
have first described in summary fashion the most B ' 
ancient manner of life in Egypt. 

43. As for their means of living in primitive times, 
the Egyptians, they say, in the earliest period got 

1 This sentence as it stands is almost certainly not from 
the hand of Diodorus. But the following words do not 
connect well with the end of chapter 41. In Book 17, which 
is also broken into two Parts, the narrative continues without 
any such interruption as occurs here. 



t 5>v iv toi? e\e«r i yivopevcov toi>9 xauXous Kal 
Tfl? ptfav, nelpav Sta Trj<; yevaecov e/caarov Xap- 
jBavovras, npcoTyv Se Kal paXiata irpoa-eveyKaadai 
t r)v ovopa^opevyv dypiotTTiv Sia t o Kal rrj yXv/cv- 
TTjTi 8id<f>opov elvai /cai tt)v Tpocpyv apnovaav 

2 TrapkyzaQai t ot? acopacri jwv dvOpconcov Kal yap 
Tot? KTrjveac ravTijv dewpeiadai npoarjvrj xal ra^ii 
tow oyKovs avrcov npoaavaTpetyeiv. Sio Kal 
t»;? ev^pj^cTTta? tj/9 irepl ttjv 0OTavrjv Taxnrjv 
pvypovevovTa<s rovi avdpanrovs pe%pi tov vvv, 
OTav irpo<; Beovt /3a8i£coai, Trj X ei P L Ta v T V‘ : Xap- 
fiavovTa 9 npoaevxeadar olovrai yap t ov avdpco- 
ttov eXeiov Kal XipvcbSes elvai %q>ov, atro re rfji 
XeioTtjTO? t eKpaipopevoi kcu TJ79 (pvaiKTji ttoio- 
t<?to9, €Ti Se t ov irpoaSeiadai Tpo<f>y<! Trj<; vypa<; 

3 paXXov fj Trj<; t;rjpa<:. Sevrepav Se Xeyovaiv e\eiv 
Siaycoyf) v toi>9 AlyvtrTiov<! Tyv tS>v iydvwv 
ftpcbcriv, noXXyv Sa\jriXeiav trapeyopevov tov 
troTapov, Kal pdXicrff’ ore pera rrjv avdjSamv 

4 Taneivovpevoi avagypaivoiTO. opoiax; Se Kal tcov 
/ 3o<TKi)paT(ov evia aapKO<f>ayeiv, Kal Tat9 Sopais 
tcov KareaOiopivcov iadycri XPV (Kal t«9 
oiKyaei 9 e/e tcov KaXdpcov KataaKevd^eadai. 
iXvy Se tovtcov Stapeveiv irapa T0Z9 vopevcn 
Tot9 xa t Aiyvirrov, 0&9 airavTas <f>aai pexpi 
tov vvv pySepiav aXXyv oiKyaiv fj ttjv bk tcov 
K aXapcov exelv, SoKipd^ovTas dpKeiadai tovtt]. 

5 ttoXXovs Se XP° V0V $ tovtco T6> /3uo Siefjaya- 
yovra<i 1 to TeXevralov ini tov<: iScoSlpov<: peTa- 
f3fjvai Kapnow, cov elvai Kal tov eK tov Xcotov 
yivopevov apTov. Kal tovtcov tt)v evpecriv ot pe v 

1 SifiayayifTas Dindorf : Siciiyoyras. 

BOOK I. 43- i -5 

their food from herbs and the stalks and roots of the 
plants which grew in the marshes, making trial of 
each one of them by tasting it, and the first one eaten 
by them and the most favoured was that called 
Agrostis , 1 because it excelled the others in sweetness 
and supplied sufficient nutriment for the human 
body; for they observed that this piant was attrac- 
tive to the cattle and quickly increascd their bulk. 
Because of this fact the natives, in remembrance of 
the usefulness of this piant, to this day, when 
approaching the gods, hold some of it in their hands 
as they pray to them; for they believe that man is a 
creature of swamp and marsh, basing this conclusion 
on the smoothness of his skin and his physical con- 
stitution, as well as on the fact that he requires a wet 
rather than a dry diet. A second way by which the 
Egyptians subsisted was, they say, by the eating of 
fish, of which the river provided a great abundance, 
especially at the time when it receded after its floocl 
and dried up . 2 They also ate the flesh of some of the 
pasturing animals, using for clothing the skins of the 
beasts that were eaten, and their dwellings they built 
out of reeds. And traces of these customs stili remain 
among the herdsmen of Egypt, all of whom, they say, 
have no other dwelling up to this time than one of 
reeds, considering that with this they are well enough 
provided for. After subsisting in this manner over 
a long period of time they finally turned to the edible 
fruits of the earth, among which may be included the 
bread made from the lotus. The discovery of these 

1 Dog’s-tooth grass. 

* This must refer to the drying-up of the pools left by the 

x 55 


et? ttjv *latv ava<f>epovertv, oi 8 ’ et? nva t&v 
iraAat&v {3aai\ea>v tov 6vop.a£6p.evov M.ijvav. 

6 oi 8 tepet? evpeTTjv t&v pev 1 irathet&v /cat t&v 
re^v&v pvdoXoyovat tov 'Eppfjv yeyovevat, t&v 
8’et? tov fi tov avayieaitov roi? /3a<rt\et<r Sto icat 
to iraXatov irapahihoadat t<x? /3a<ri\eia<; pij tok 
e/eyovot^ t&v aptjavTtov, aWa roi? irXeurTa /eat 
peyttna to tt\tj6o<; evepyeTovatv, e ire irpo/caXov- 
fievtov t&v ayd p&ttoiv rou? e<f>’ eavT&v f3aai\eis 
eVt ttjv koivtjv evepyeatav, etre icat kclt akTjdetav 
iv rat? tepat? avaypa<f>aK ovt<o irapeikrftyoTwv. 

44. M v0o\oyoviTi 8 avTcov Ttves to pev irp&Tov 
ap%ai tt)? AlyvTTTov Oeoix; /cat Tjpwa<; eTTj fipa-yy 
'Xenrovra t&v pvpicov /cai OKTaKiaytXto)v, icat 
de&v eaxaTov fiaatXevcrai tov V IaiSos flpov- vir' 
avOpwjrwv 8 e ttjv %o)pav /3e fiao tkevcrd at tpaertv 
€tt) 2 fipaxy XelirovTa t&v -nevTaKtaxtXtoiv peypi 
Tfj<>, e/caToaTrjs /eat 6ySoTjKO<TTTj<s 'OXvfnrtdooi;, 
Kad' rjv fjpeit fiev irape^aAopev et? AXy vir tov, 
efiaatXeve 8 e I iToXe/t-tiTo? 6 veo<; Atofueo? XPVl tia ~ 

2 Tt%oiv. tovtcov 8 e to. pev 7 rkeioTa KaTaa^etv 
ttjv apxrjv eyx<opiov<i /SatrtXet?, oXtya 8 e AWtoira<s 
Kat Uepaa<; icat Ma/eeStW?. Aidioira<; pev ovv 
api;at T€TTapa<i, ov /caTct to e^?, a\\’ eV StaaTrj- 
pa.TO<t, €ttj Tct irdvTa /3paxi> XetTTOVTa T&V ?£ /eat 

3 Tpia/covTa • Ileptra? 8 ’ fjyrjaaadat K_ap/3vcrav tov 
f3aat\e<o<j toi? 07rXot? /caTaaTpeifrapevov to eOvos 
TrevTe trpo \f rot? e/eaTOV /eat Tpta/eovTa ereo-t crvv 

1 tuv /iiv Dindorf: pir tHv, 

’ &xb MolptSos before ?tt) deleted by Dindorf. 


1 Cp. chap. 14. 

BOOK I. 43. 5-44. 3 

is attributed by some to Isis, 1 but by others to one of 
their early kings called Menas. The priests, how- 
ever, have the story that the discoverer of the 
branches of leaming and of the arts was Hermes, but 
that it was their kings who discovered such things as 
are necessary for existence; and that this was the 
reason why the kingship in early times was bestowed, 
not upon the sons of their former rulers, but upon 
such as conferred the greatest and most numerous 
benefits upon the peoples, whether it be that the 
inhabitants in this way sought to provoke their kings 
to useful Service for the benefit of ali, or that they 
have in very truth received an account to this effect 
in their sacred writings. 

44. Some of tliem give the story that at first gods 
and heroes ruled Egypt for a little less than eighteen 
thousand years, the last of the gods to rule being 
Horus, the son of Isis; and mortals have been kings 
over their country, they say, for a little less than five 
thousand years down to the One Hundred and go-56 
Eightieth Olympiad, the time when we visited Egypt B '° 
and the king was Ptolemy, who took the name of The 
New Dionysus. 2 For most of this period the rule 
was held by native kings, and for a small pari of it by 
Ethiopians, Persians, and Macedonians. 3 Now four 
Ethiopians held the throne, not consecutively but 
with intervals between, for a little less than thirty- 
six years in all; and the Persians, after their king 
Cambyses had subdued the nation by arms, ruled for 
one hundred and thirty-five years, including the 

2 Ptolemy XI (80-51 b.c.), better known as Auletes (“ The 
Piper * ’) and as the father of the famous Cleopatra. 

* The Ethiopian Period (Twenty-fifth Dynasty), ca . 715- 
663 b.o.; the Persian, 525-332 B.o.; on the Macedonian, 
332-30 b.o., see the Introduction, pp. ix ff. 



ral? Ttov AlyvjrTLtov diroardaeaiv, a? eiroirjtravTO 
<pepeiv ov Bvvdpevoi ttjv Tpa^vTrjra tt?? eirHTTa- 
<rta? tcai rr/v ei? t oii? iy^tapiov^ deov<; aaeffeiav. 
4 eV^arou? Se Ma«eSoi/a? apgai ical tou? «770 
Ma«eSoi/&>i/ ef Ittj 7rpo? Tot? Bia/coaiois ical 
e/3&oprjicovTa. tou? Se \ot7rou? %p6t>ou? diravrwi 
BiareXeaat ftaffiXevovTas Tt}<; %d>pa<; ey^cupiov;, 
avhpa<! pev e@&opij/covTa irpot Tot? tct paxoaloii, 
yvvabcas Se irevre' irepl div dirdintov oi pev 
iepeh etyov dvaypa<p(is ev Tat? iepat? ySiyS\ot? 
e* iraXaitbv -ypovaiv ael t oi? StaSo^ot? irapa- 
SeBopevas, 6 ttt)Aiico<; e/caaro? tcSi/ ftacriXev- 
advrcov eyevero tui peyedei /cai 07roto? ti? rj} 
< pvcrei /cai ra /cara Toi)? tStoi/? %p6vov$ e/cdarm 
6 TrpayOevia- rpuv Se 7repi e/caaTov ra /cara /te/oo? 
pa/cpbv av eirj /cai irepiepyov ypdtfietv, &>? ai/ r&v 
nXelaraiv d^piqtTTtov TrepieiXrjppevcov. Zioirep toiv 
ai-laiv taTopia ? ra icvpuoTaTa avvr6pa><; Stegievai 

45. MeTa tou? #eou? toivvv irpanov (paci 
fHaaiXevacu rfj<; Alyvrrrov M.r)vav, /cai /caTaSetfai 
Tot? \aot? 0eoi/? re crefiecrdai /cai Ovata? eVt- 
reXetv, irpo? Se roi/Tot? iraparlOeadaL rpawe^a? 
«ai tcXlva? «ai arpcopvfj TroXvreXei xpfjadcu, «ai 
to avvoXov Tpv<prjv «ai TroXvreXf) ftiov elarjyij- 
2 aaaOai. Bio ical iroXXat? varepov yeveal? fiaat,- 
Xevovra Tvecpa^dov tov Bo«^o/stSo? tov <ro<pov 
irarepa Xeyovaiv ei? t^j/ ’Apa/3lav aTparevaavra, 
tcov eirirqheicdv ai/Toi/ Sta re ttjv eprjplav ical 
t a? Si la^copiat eicXnrovTaJv, avayicao-Ofjvai pLav 
rjpepav ivhea yevopevov "^piqaaaOai Biairrj irav- 
tcXju? evreXel itapa Tiai toiv tv^ovtcov ISiarSv, 

BOOK I. 44. 3-45. 2 

periods of revolt on the part of the Egyptians which 
they raised because they were unable to endure the 
harshness of their dominion and their lack of respect 
for the native gods. Last of ali the Macedonians and 
their dynasty held rule for two hundred and seventy- 
six years. For the rest of the time ali the kings of the 
land were natives, four hundred and seventy of them 
being men and five women. About all of them the 
priests had records which were regularly handed 
down in their sacred books to each successive priest 
from early times, giving the stature of each of the 
former kings, a description of his character, and what 
he had done during his reign; as for us, however, it 
would be a long task to write of each of them sever- 
ally, and superfluous also, seeing that most of the 
material included is of no profit. Consequently we 
shall undertake to recount briefly only the most 
important of the facts which deserve a place in 

45 . After the gods the first king of Egypt, accord- 
ing to the priests, was Menas, who taught the people 
to worship gods and offer sacrifices, and also to supply 
themselves with tables and couches and to use costly 
bedding, and, in a word, introduced luxury and an 
extravagant manner of life. For this reason when, 
many generations later, Tnephachthus, 1 the father 
of Bocchoris the wise, was king and, while on a cam- 
paign in Arabia, ran short of supplies because the 
country was desert and rough, we are told that he 
was obliged to go without food for one day and then 
to live on quite simple fare at the home of some 
ordinary folk in private station, and that he, enjoying 

1 Not identified. Wiedemann conjected that he might be 
Tef-sucht, of the 23rd Dynasty. 



fjtrdevTa Se xaO' vTrepftoXTjv xaTayv&vai r t)? 
Tpvtftfy xal tm xara&eigavTi rfjv TtoXvTeXeiav 
eg apx »79 (BatnXel xaTapatrOai- ovtio S' iyxapSiov 
avT& ttjv peTaffoX-rjv yevetrOai ttjv irepl ttjv 
ftp&triv xal irotriv xal xoittjv «are ttjv xardpav 
avaypdifrai rot? tepot? ypappatriv et? r bv tov 
A io? vaov iv €>rj/3ai<;- o Stj Soxel paXitrTa ainov 
yevetrOai tov p-rj Siapelvai ttjv bogav tov M rjva 

3 xal Ta? Tt/xa? et? tou? vaTepov xpovovs. e£j}? S' 
apgai XeyeTai tov irpoeiprjpevov /9atrt\e'w? toi)? 
awoyovovs Svo 77730? Tot? tt evr rjxovTa TOv<; diravTa<t 
€TT] wXelco t&v xtXl<i>v xal TeTTapdxovTa- i<f)’ &v 
prjbtv agiov dvaypa(f)rj<i yevetrOai. 

4 Mera Se raOra xaTa<iTa6evTO<t /SaaiXew 
Bono-t/jtSo? /cat t<3i» tovtov iraXiv exyovtov oxt&>, 
tov TeXevTaiov op.divvp.ov ovTa tS> irponto (patri 
xTitrai ttjv viro pev t&v 1 Alyvinitov xaXovpevrjv 
Ato? noXiv ttjv peyaXrjv, viro Se t&v 'EXXtjvcov 
®rjfta<s. tov pev ovv irepi^oXov avrov virotrTrj- 
tratrOai trTaSitov exaTOV xal TeTTapdxovTa, olxo- 
boprjpatri Se peyaXovi xal vaoi<; exirpeiretri xal 
rot? aWot? dvaOtj patri xotrprjtrai da vpatn&<r 

6 opotax; Se xal Ta? t&v ISttu t&v olxla ?, a? /xef 
TeTpcopo<f>ov$, a? Se irevTtopotjrov^ xaTatrxevdtrai, 
xal xaOoXov ttjv noXiv evSaipovetrTaTTjv ov pbvov 
t&v xaT AiyvnTov, dXXa xal t&v aXXcov itatr&v 

6 iroirjtrai. Sia bb tjjv VTrepjSoXrjv ttj<; trepl avTrjv 
einropia ? re xal Svvdpeox} et? irdvTa tottov ttj$ 

BOOK I. 45. 2-6 

the experience exceedingly, denounced luxury and 
pronounced a curse on the king who had first taught 
the people their extravagant way of living; and so 
deeply did he take to heart the change which had 
taken place in the people’s liabits of eating, drinking, 
and sleeping, that hc inscribed his curse in hiero- 
glyphs on the temple of Zeus in Thebes; and this, 
in fact, appears to bc the chief reason why the fame 
of Menas and his honours did not persist into later 
ages. And it is said that the descendants of this 
king, fifty-two in number all told, ruled in unbroken 
succession more than a thousand and forty years, but 
that in their reigns nothing occurred that was worthy 
of record. 

Subsequently, when Busiris became king and his 
descendants in turn, eight in number, the last of the 
line, who bore the same name as the first, founded, 
they say, the city which the Egyptians call Diospolis 1 
the Great, though the Greeks call it Thebes. Now 
the circuit of it he made one hundred and forty 
stades, and he adomed it in marvellous fashion with 
great buildings and remarkable temples and dedica- 
tory monuments of every other kind; in the same 
way he caused the houses of private citizens to be 
constructed in some cases four stories high, in other 
fi ve, and in general made it the most prosperous city, 
not only of Egypt, but of the whole world. And 
since, by reason of the citys pre-eminent wealth and 
power, its fame has been spread abroad to every 

* “City of Zeus,” the Diospolis Magna of the Romans. 
The Egyptian name by whioh it was most commonly known 
was Nu (or No), “ the city.” 


tvv omitteil by Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 


pqptjs 8ia8e8opevrj'; enipepvrjadai Kal rov notrjrrjv 
avrrjs (pacriv ev ol<s Xeyei 

ov8’ o<ra ®ij/3a<: 

AlyvTTTias, odi nXelrrra bofiois evi KrrjpMra 

aW' eKaropnvXol elai, birjKoaioi 8’ av eKarrrrjv 

avepe<s egoixvevai avv Xnnoiaiv Kal oxea<piv. 

7 evioi 8e <paaiv ov irvXas exarov ia^qKevai rrjv 
noXiv, aXXa TroXXa Kal fieyaXa nponvXaia r5 >v 
lep&v, a<f>’ 5>v eKaropnvXov mvopaadai, Kadanepel 
noXvnvXov. 8iapvpia 8' appara rrpoi aXijdeiav 
elj avrfj<! et? rovi noXepovs eKnopeveadar r oi? 
yap inn&va ? SKarov yeyovevai Kara rrjv rrapa- 
norapiav rrjv ano M epipem axpi ®rj/3a>v roiv 
Kark rrjv Aifivrjv, eKaarov 8exopevov ava 8ia- 
Koaiov} innov<s, &v en vvv ra depeXia 8eiKvvadai. 

46. Ov povov 8e rovrov r ov (3aaiXea napei- 
Xijpapev, aXXa Kal r&v varepov apgavnov 
noXXovs el<s rrjv avjjrjaiv rrj<; noXeax; neipiXort- 
prjadai. dvad rjparri re yap noXXoh Kal peyaXoi<s 
apyvpoh Kal %/3ncrot?, en 8' eXe<pavrivoi<}, Kal 
KoXorriK&v avSpidvnov nXijdei, npb<; Se rovroi<; 
KaraaKevali povoXideav ofteXiaKwv prj8epiav ra>v 
2 vno rov rjXiov ovra> KeKoaprjadai. rerrapeov yap 
iepcbv KaraaKevaadevnov rb re KaXXo<s Kal ro 
peyedos Oavpaarov 1 * elvai rb naXaiorarov, 
rpioKalbeKa pev arahlcav rrjv nepiperpov, nevre 
8e Kal rerrapaKovra nrjx&v rb vrfros, eiKoat 
1 Savvairrbv D, Vogel : Sav/iairTav iv C, Bekker, Dindorf. 

1 Iliad 9. 381-4, where Achilles replies to Odysseus, reject- 

ing the profler of gifts from Agamemnon. 


BOOK I. 45. 6-46. 2 

region, even the poet, we are told, has mentioned it 
when he says : 1 

Nay, not for all the wealth 
Of Thebes in Egypt, where in ev’ry hall 
There lieth treasure vast ; a hundred are 
Her gates, and warriors by each issue forth 
Two hundred, each of them with car and steeds. 

Some, however, teli us that it was not one hundred 
“ gates ” (pulai) which the city had, but rather many 
great propylaea in front of its temples, and that it 
was from these that the title “ hundred-gated ” was 
given it, that is, “ having many gateways.” Yet 
twenty thousand chariots did in truth, we are told, 
pass out from it to war; for there were once scattered 
along the river from Memphis to the Thebes which is 
over against Libya one hundred post-stations, 3 each 
one having accommodation for two hundred horses, 
whose foundations are pointed out even to this day. 

46. Not only this king, we have been informed, but 
also many of the later rulers devoted their attention 
to the development of the city. For no city under 
the sun has ever been so adomed by votive offerings, 
made of silver and gold and ivory, in such number 
and of such size, by such a multitude of colossal 
statues, and, finally, by obelisks made of single 
blocks of stone. Of four temples erected there the 
oldest 3 is a source of wonder for both its beauty and 
size, having a Circuit of thirteen stades, a height of 

2 Stables where relays of horses were kept. Eiohstadt 
would rejecfc the whole of § 7 as spurious, and the words rwv 
*ari Tv AiBir/v appear to be unnecessary. 

This is undoubtedly the Great Temple of Ammon at 
Karnak, the most imposing of all the monuments of Egypt. 



?6 «at T6 TTapWV TToSwV TO 7T\aTO? TWV TOl^OJV. 

3 cikoXovOov Se jfj peyaXoirpeireia TavTrj Kal t ov 
h> avTw Koapov t5>v avadrjpaTwv yeveadai, 
ttj re Sairdvrj davpaenov Kal tt) ^eipoopyta 

4 irepiTTwg eipyaapevov. reis pev ovv oiKoSopa*; 
SiapepevrjKevai pexpt tmd vewiepwv ^povwv, t ov 
8' apyvpov Kal xP vcr ° v Ka ' 1 T V V eXeefaavTo; 
Kal Xideias iroXvTeXeiav viro II epcrwv aeavXrj- 
crdai Kad' ov; Kaipoii; eveirprjae t a «ar’ Alyvmov 
i e pa Ka/tjSwi/? - ore Stj <)>acn tov; Ylepcra; 
peTeveyKovra; ttjv eviropiav Tavrrjv el<s ttjv ’A aiav 
Kal re^WTa? ef Alyvirrov ira paXa^ovTa; Kara- 
crKevaaai tcl irepifiorjTa fiaaiXeta t d re ei> 
Il6/3(767ro\6t «at ra eV 2ouo-ot? «at Ta eu MjjSta. 

6 too-oOto Se irXrjdo; xPVP^twv diro(j>aivov<Ti 
yeyovevai rare «ar’ Alyvinov wffTe tS>v «ara 
ttjv trvXrjaiv diroXeippdrwv KaiaKavd evTwv Ta 
ffvvaxOevTa Kaia piKpov evpedrjvai xP va ' l0XJ P* v 
irXeiw t5>v TpiaKoaiaiv TaXdvTwv, dpyvpiov S’ ovk 
eXaTTW rwv Sttr^tXtwv «at TpiaKoaimv TaXdvTwv. 

6 etvat Se (fratri «at Tacfrov; eviavda twv dpxaiwv 
fiaaiXewv davpaaTOv; Kal twv peTayeveaiepwv 
tok et? ra irapairXrjaia (fnXoTtpovpevoi; virep- 
fioXrjv ovk airoXeiirovTa;. 

7 Ot pev ovv lepei; e« tmd dvaypatfrwv e<f>a<rav 
evpiaKeiv eina irpex; t ot? TenapaKOVTa Tatfrov; 
fiacriXiKovv et? Se IlToXe/tatoi/ tov Aayov Sia- 
peivat <f>acriv e7TTa«atSe«a povov, wv ra 7roWd 
KaTetfrdapTO Kad' ot)? XP° V0 u ? irapeftdXopev 
rjpei; et? ixelvov; toi/? tottov;, iirl ttj; eKaioaTrj; 

8 «at bySoTjKOOTrj<; ’ QXvpiridSo *?. ou povov S’ ot 


BOOK L 46. 2-8 

forty-five cubits, and walls twenty-four feet thick. 

In keeping with this magnificence was also the em- 
bellishment of the votive offerings within the Circuit 
wall, marvellous for the money spent upon it and 
exquisitely wrought as to workmanship. Now the 
buildings of the temple survived down to rather recent 
times, but the silver and gold and costly works of ivory 
and rare stone were carried off by the Persians when 
Cambyses bumed the temples of Egypt; 1 and it was 
at this time, they say, that the Persians, by trans- 
ferring all this wealth to Asia and taking artisans 
along from Egypt, constructed their famous palaces 
in Persepolis and Susa and throughout Media. So 
great was the wealth of Egypt at that period, they 
dcclare, that from the remnants left in the course of 
the sack and after the burning the treasure which 
was collected little by little was found to be worth 
more than three hundred talents of gold and no less 
than two thousand three hundred talents of silver. 
There are also in this city, they say, remarkable 
tombs of the early kings and of their successors, 
which leave to those who aspire to similar magni¬ 
ficence no opportunity to outdo them. 

Now the priests said that in their records they find 
forty-seven tombs of kings; but down to the time of 
Ptolemy son of Lagus, they say,only fifteen remained, 323-283 
most of which had been destroyed at the time we B -°- 
visited those regions, in the One Hundred and go-86 
Eightieth Olympiad. Not only do the priests of Ba 

1 Cambyses was in Egypt from 525 to 522 b.o. The aceount 
of his excesses against the Egyptian religion and customs, 
given in great detail by Herodotus (3. 16 ff.), is almost cer- 
tainly mueh exaggerated (see Gray in The Cambridge Ancient 
Hislory, 4. pp. 22-3, but cp. Hali, ibid. 3. pp. 311-12); at any 
rate they fall toward the end of his stay in the country. 



*ot' AiyvnTov tepet? ex t&v dvaypa<f>&v iaropov- 
atv, aWa kcu ttoXXoI tcov 'KXXtjvotv t&v 7 rapa- 
fiaXovTtov pev eis tus 0?)/3a? iirl UToXepaiov 
tov Aayov, owTa^apevwv Se ra? Alyvirrlateas 
itTTopiwt, &v etrTi kcu 'EtcaTato?, trvpujxovovtri 
tois v<j> rjpj&v etprjpevois. 

47. VA.7 to 7 «p t<3i/ irp&Tmv Tatfxov, ev oh 
•jrapaSeSorai tcis iraXXaKtSas tov Aios Tedd<p6at, 
Sexa otclSLwv (prjalv virdpgat ftaatXeass p,vrjp,a 
tov 7r poaayopeudevTos 'OirvpavSvov, tovtov Se 
KaTci p,ev ttjv elaoSov viulpyeiv irvX&va Xtdov 
ttoikiXov, to p,ev ptrjKos SiirXeffpov, to S' vxfros 

2 t eTTapaxotna xal treme •nrj-yjov' SteXdovTt S’ 
avTov elvai Xldivov ireptaTvXov TeTpdycovov, 
exdarqs irXevpas ovotjs TeTTupcov trXedptov 
virqpeladai S’ clvti t&v klovcov %&Sta irqx^ >v 
exxaiSexa povoXitia, tov Tiinov eis tov ap^aiov 
Tpoirov elpyaapeva- ttjv opocpqv Te iraaav eVt 
ttXutos Svoiv opyvi&v virapxeiv povoXidov, 
aaTepas ev xvav& KaTaireirotKiXpevqv eijfjs Se 
tov Trepio-TvXov tovtov 7 rdXiv eTepav etaoSov 
kcu irvX&va Ta p,ev aXXa trapatrXrja tov tw 
irpoetpqpevtp, 7 Xvtpais Se iravTOtats irepiTTOTepov 

3 elpyaapevov trapa Se ttjv elaoSov dvSpidvTas 
elvai Tpeis e% evos tovs trdvTas Xidov p,eXavos 1 
tov 'ZvtjvItov, xal tovtcov eva p.ev Kadrjp,evov 

1 /itXavos Hertlein: M f/ivoros. 

1 Heoataeus of Abdera was an historian of the early third 

eentury B.o., author of an Aigyptiaka, from which the following 
deseription (47. 1-49. 6) of the tomb of Osymandyas (Mulier, 


BOOK I. 46. 8-47. 3 

Egypt glve these facts from their records, but many 
also of the Greeks who visited Thebes in the time 
of Ptolemy son of Lagus and composed histories of 
Egypt, one of whom was Hecataeus, 1 agree with what 
we have said. 

47. Ten stades from the first tombs, he says, in 
which, according to tradition, are buried the con- 
cubines of Zeus, stands a monument of the king 
known as Osymandyas. 2 At its entrance there is a 
pylon, constructed of variegated stone, two plethra 
in breadth and forty-five cubits high; passing through 
this one enters a rectangular peristyle, built of stone, 
four plethra long on each side; it is supported, in 
place of pillars, by monolithic figures sixteen cubits 
high, wrought in the ancient manner as to shape; 3 
and the entire ceiling, which is two fathoms wide, 
consists of a single stone, which is highly decorated 
with stars on a blue field. Beyond this peristyle 
there is yet another entrance and pylon, in every 
respect like the one mentioned before, save that it is 
more richly wrought with every manner of relief; 
beside the entrance are three statues, each of a single 
block of black stone from Syene, of which one, that 

Fragmenta historicorum Graecorum, 2. 389-91) is drawn. What 
Diodorus gives here is no more than a paraphrase, not a 
quotation, of Heoataeus (ep. the Introduction, p. xvii). 

2 This is the great sanctuary erected by Ramses II for 
his mortuary Service and known to every visitor at Thebes 
as the Ramesseum. In chap. 49, where Diodon» is not 
following Heoataeus, he calls it speeifieally a “ tomb.” H. R. 
Hali {Ancient History of the Near Easl ‘, p. 317) derives the 
name Osymandyas from User-ma-Ra (or “ Uashmuariya ” 
as the Semites wrote it), one of the royal names of Ramses. 

2 These were square pillars with engaged statues of Osiris, 
but they were not monoliths (ep. H. R. Hali, l.c., with illustra- 



virap^eiv peylOTOV TravTiov t&v icar' AXyvitTOV, 
ov tov iroSa peTpovpevov vTrepftdXXeiv tou? ema 
7njx el< >> erepovt; Se Svo 7rpo? Tot? ybvacri, tov 
pev i/c Se^ia/v, tov Se elj evcovvpoov, dvyaTpo<c 
/cai pt]Tpo<:, to 3 peyedei Xeinopevov^ tov irpoeipp- 

4 pbevov. to S' epyov tovto prj povov elvai /caTa 
to peyedos airoSo)(rj<; a^iov, aXXa /cai tt} te^vt/ 
OavpatTTOv /cai Trj tov Xtdov <f>voei Siacf/epov, co? 
av ev TrfKiKovTtp peyedei prjTe Sta<j>vdSo<; prpre 
/cr/KZSov p.r)Sep.ia<; deu/povpevrpi. eiriyeypdif/dai S' 
67r avTov “ Ba<ri\eii? ftaoiXemv 'OovpavSvaq 
elp.L ei Se Tt? elSevai fiovXeTai 7r?)X//ro? elpi 
/cai 7 tov /celpai, vikcItw ti t&v epcbv epyoov.” 

5 elvai Se /cai aXXrjv el/cova tj)? pr)Tpo<i axiTov /cad’ 
avTt)v 7 rrj^mv ef/cooi povoXiGov, e%ovoav Se Tpet? 
fiaoiXeias ini t/)? /ce<f>aXrj<:, a? Siaappaiveiv 
oti Kal dvyaTpp /cai yvvrj /cai pr)rqp fiaaiXea»; 

6 MeTrt Se tov nvX&va nepioTvXov elvai tov 
irpoTepov a^ioXoyd/Tepov, ev eo y\v<f>a<; vndp^eiv 
7ravToia<; SrjXovoas tov 7 ro~X.ep.ov tov yevopevov 

aVTCp 7T/50? T0l>? EV TOt? B d/CTpOl<! dnOOTaVTaV 
etf>' ov<; eaTpaTevodai ne^&v pev TeTTapd/covTa 
pvpiacnv, innevai Se Siap.vptoi<;, et? TeTTapa 
pept) SirjprjpevTji; tt)? ndor)<i OTpaTias, mv airav- 
tcov vioi/s tov /SaoiXeox; ea")(T]/cevai ttjv pyepoviav. 

48. Kal /caTa pev tov npusTov tusv toi%iov 
tov fiaaiXea /caTea/cevdcrdai noXiop/covvTa ret^o? 
vi to iroTapov nepippvTov /cai npo/civSvvevovTa 

1 The estimated weight of this colossus ol Bamses II is 
one thousand tons. 



BOOK I. 47. 3-48. 

is seated, is the largest of any in Egypt, 1 the foot 
measuring over seven cubits, while the other two at 
the knees of this, the one on the right and the other 
on the left, daughter and mother respectively, are 
smaller than the one first mentioned. And it is not 
merely for its size that this work merits approbation, 
but it is also marvellous by reason of its artistic quality 
and excellent because of the nature of the stone, since 
in a block of so great a size there is not a single crack 
or blemish to be seen. The inscription upon it runs : 
“ King of Kings am I, Osymandyas. If anyone 
would know how great I am and where I lie, let him 
surpass one of my works.” There is also another 
statue of his mother standing alone, a monolith twenty 
cubits high, and it has three diadems on its head, 
signifying that she was both daughter and wife and 
mother of a king. 

Beyond the pylon, he says, there is a peristyle more 
remarkable than the former one; in it there are all 
manner of reliefs depicting the war which the king 
waged against those Bactrians who had revolted; 
against these he had made a campaign with four 
hundred thousand foot-soldiers and twenty thousand 
cavalry, the whole army having been divided into 
four divisions, all of which were under the command 
of sons of the king. 2 

48 . On the first wall the king, he says, is represented 
in the act of besieging a walled city which is sur- 
rounded by a river, and of leading the attack against 

2 This is the campaign of Bamses II against the Hittites 
in 1288 B.o. and the great hattle around the city of Kadesh 
on the upper Orontes. The battle has heen fully described 
by J. H. Breasted, The Battle of Kadesh, (Decennial Publica- 
tions of the University of Chicago, 1904), who estimates the 
size of the army at little moro than 20,000. 



irpos T»/as avTiTeTaypevovs peTCi XeovTos, avv- 
aycovt&fievov tov Orjplov KaTairXrjKTiK&s' virep 
ov t&v i^rjyovpevatv oi pev e<f>aaav irpos aXrjOeiav 
yeiporfOr) XeovTa Tpefyopevov viro tov ftaaiXeas 
avyKivSvveveiv avT& /cara ra? /xaya? Kal rpoirrjv 
iroieiv t&v evavrleov Sia tt)v oKktjv, Tives S' 
[(TTopouv oti KaO' {nrepffoXrjv avSpeios &v Kal 
<f>opTiK&s 1 eavTov iyKwpia^eiv ffovXopevos, Sia 
tt)s tov XeovTos eiKovos ttjv SidOeaiv eavTov tt}s 

2 yjrvxvs eor/paivev. ev Se t& Sevt epa> Toiyce tov 1 } 
alxpaX&Tovs viro tov fiaaiXecos ayopevovs elpya- 
adai Tfl Te alSola Kal ra? y elpa<} ovk eyorTas, 
St’ &v SoKelv SrjXovaBai oioti Tai} i|ri/yais 
avavSpoi Kal KaTa to,} ev rot? Seivol} ev e pyelas 

3 ayet/oes r/trav. tov Se TpiTov e^eiv yXv(f>as 
iravTolas Kal Siairperreis ypa<f>ds. St' a>v SrfXovadai 
f3ovdvolas tov /3aoiXea>s Kal dplapfiov airo tov 

4 TroXepov KaTayopevov. KaTa Se pecrov tov irepl- 
ittvXov viralBpiov f3a>p,ov (pKoSoprjoOai tov KaX- 
XIotov Xlffov Trj Te xeipovpyla Std<popov Kal t& 

6 peyedei davpaoTov. KaTa Se tov TeXevTaiov 
toixov virapx^v avSptavTas Kaffrjpevovs Svo povo- 
XlOovs «7 TTa Kal eiKoai irrjx&v, irap' ovs elooSovs 
Tpeis e* tov irepioTvXov KaTeoKevaoOai, KaO' 
as oikov virapxew vttootvXov, wSelov Tpoirov 
KaTetTKevaapJkvov , eKaaTtjv irXevpav exovTa 81- 

6 irXeOpov. ev tovtio 8' elvai irXfjBos avSpidvTiov 
1 (popriKus Vogel: tpoprucbs Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 

1 This sentence ia apparently not from Hecataeus. 

Breasted (l.c., pp. 44-5) holds that this lion is purely 
decorative, though the reliefs oi the battle show a tame lion 
accompanying Ramses on the campaign. 


BOOK I. 48. 1-6 

opposing troops; he is accompanied by a lion, which is 
aiding him with terrifying effect. Of those who have 
explained the scene some have said that in very truth 
a tame lion which the king kept accompanied him in 
the perils of battle and put the enemy to rout by his 
fierce onset; but others have maintained that the 
king, who was exceedingly brave and desirous of prais- 
ing himself in a vulgar way, was trying to portray 
his own bold spirit in the figure of the lion. 1 On the 
second wall, he adds, are wrought the captives as they 
are being led away by the king; they are without their 
privates and their hands, which apparently signifies 
that they were effeminate in spirit and had no hands 
when it came to the dread business of warfare. 2 
The third wall carries every manner of relief and 
excellent paintings, which portray the king perform- 
ing a sacrifice of oxen and celebrating a triumph after 
the war. In the centre of the peristyle there had 
been constructed of the most beautiful stone an altar, 
open to the sky, both excellent in its workmanship 
and marvellous because of its size. By the last wall 
are two monolithic seated statues, twenty-seven 
cubits high, beside which are set three entrances 
from the peristyle; and by way of these entrances one 
comes into a hall whose roof was supported by 
pillars, constructed in the style of an Odeum, 3 and 
measuring two plethra on each side. In this hall 
there are many wooden statues representing parties 
2 The reliefs of the battle show Ramses in his ohariot and 
the severed hands of the slain, not of the captives, being cast 
before him (Breasted, l.c., p. 45). 

* i.e. a Musio Hall, distinguished, in general, by the ancients 
from a thcatre by its roof and supporting pillars. This is 
the great hypostyle hall behind the second court (cp. the 
Plan in Baedeker'a Egypt, opp. p. 301). 



tjuXlvav, Biaappalvov tov? dpxf>ia/3r)T r\a£i? 1 
eXovTa? Kal irpoa/3X£irovTa? r ot? Ta? 8t«a? 
Kpivovai • tovtov? 8’ e<f>’ evo? t<5v TOt^to v eyye- 
y\vcf>dai TpiaKOVTa tov apiOpov a^etpa?, 2 /cat 
/cara to petxov tov ap^ibiKarrrrjv, 'lyovra rr/v 
’ A\rj6eiav e^rjprrjpevrjv e/c tov TpaxrfXov Kal 
tov? 6<f>0aXpov ? eiripvovra, 3 Kal fiifiXicov avrm 
irapaKeipevov irXfjdo?- TavTa? 8e Ta? ec/cova? 
evBeUvvaOai Sia, tov ax^puTO? otc tov? /u,ev 
BiKaaTci? ovSev 8e2 Xap.[3dv£iv, tov dpxiBiKaaTrjv 
8e irpo? povpv ftXerreiv Trjv dXi)0£tav. 

49. 'E^f;? 8’ virdpxeiv irepmaTov olkwv iravTO- 
Bair&v irXrjprj, KaO' ov? uavTOia yevrj /3pa)T<bv 
KaTeaKevdaOaL t&v irpo? diroXavaiv r/BiaTorv. 

2 KaO’ ov Btj yXvcfiai? evTv^etv 4 elvat Kal xpdipaaiv 
iirpvOia pivov tov /SaaiXka, tfiepovTa t& 0ea> 
Xpvcrov Kal apyvpov, ov e? diruar)? iXap/3ave 
Trj? Alyvinov KaT eviavTOV e/c t&v dpyvp£ia>v 
Kal ^pvaetcov perdWtov viroy£ypd<j>Oai Be Kal 
to irXrjOos, o avyK£<f>aXatovpevov et? apyvpiov 
Xoyov eivai pvmv TptaxiXta ? Kal Biaxoaia ? 

3 pvpiaBa ?. ei?}? 8’ virdpxeiv ttjv lepdv ffifiXto- 

6r)Kt)v, £<f>' fj? eiriyeypdtpOai 'i'vyrj? iaTpeiov, 
avve^et? Be Tainy t&v KaT AiyvirTOv Oebbv 
airdvTcov elKova ?, tov ftaaiXeor? opoias? Borpo- 
(fropovvTO? a irpoarjKOV rjv eKaaTOi ?, KaO dire p 
evBeiKvvpevov irpo ? Te tov “Oaipiv Kal tov ? 

1 rai before aiuhitrPrfri\atis omitted by D, Voeel: retained 
by Bekker, Dindorf. 

2 axtipas added by Hertlein, cp. Plutarch, Mor. 355 A. 

2 Ivifivovra Hertlein : tmiiinvaav. 

4 The text is defective. Reiske conjectures yKitpas &> 

<t iSeh 


BOOK I. 48. 6-49. 3 

in litigation, whose eyes are fixed upon the judges 
who decide their cases; and these, in turn, are 
shown in relief on one of the walls, to the number of 
thirty and without any hands, 1 and in their midst 
the chief justice, with a figure of Truth hanging from 
his neck and holding his eyes closed, and at his side a 
great number of books. And these figures show by 
their attitude that the judges shall receive no gift and 
that the chief justice shall have his eyes upon the 
truth alone. 2 

49. Next to these courts, he says, is an ambulatory 
crowded with buildings of every kind, in which there 
are representations of the foods that are sweetest to 
the taste, of every variety. Here are to be found 
reliefs in which the king, adorned in colours, is 
represented as offering to the god the gold and silver 
which he received each year from the silver and gold 
mines of all Egypt; and an inscription below gives 
also the total amount, which, summed up according 
to its value in silver, is thirty-two million minas. 
Next comes the sacred library, which bears the 
inscription “ Healing-place of the Soul,” and contigu- 
ous to this building are statues of all the gods of 
Egypt, to each of whom the king in like manner 
makcs the offering appropriate to him, as though he 
were submitting proof before Osiris and his assessors 

1 A word to this effect, which is found in a desoription of 
“ figures in Thebes ” by Plutarch {On Isis and Osiris, 10), 
must almost certainly have stood in the text, to give a basis 
for the thought in the next sentence that the judges should 
not receive gifts; op. Plutarch, l.c., iis &Supov &n a tV Sutaio- 
aivnv Kal bvitirevKTov olrray (“ showing that justice should 
tako no gifts and should be inaooessible to influcnce”). 

2 On tbis Supreme Court see ehap. 75. 



/cara) irapeSpovs oti tov fiiov itjeTeXeaev evoefiSsv 
xal Sixaioirpaycov irpos re av0pcowovs xal 0eovs. 
4 dpoToi-)(p v 8e Tji /3iffXio0>}xr) xaTeaxevda0ai ire- 
pm&s olxov elxoaixXivov, exorna tov tc Ato? 
xal tt/s "Hpas, eri Se tov fiaatXecos, elxovas, 
eu c3 Soxelv xal ro acopa tov fiaaiXecas evre- 
6 0dcf>0ai, xvxXcp Se tovtov irXi)0os olxypaTCOV 
xaTeaxevaadai ypacprjv eyovTcov exirpeirr) irdvTcov 
t cov xadiepcopevcov ev AlyvirTCp £a>cov avafiaaiv 
Te Si airrav eivai irp6<s oXov 1 tov Tacpov' fjv 
SieXOovcnv virdp-^eiv eirl tov pvypaTOS xvxXov 
Xpvaovv rpiaxoaicov xal egyxovTa xal irevTe 
•jrrjx&v tt)v ireplpeTpov, t b Se Tragos 3 irrjxyaiov’ 
eiriyeypa<p0ai Se xal Siypfja0ai xa0' exaoTov 
ityyyv t as ypepas tov eviaVTov, irapayeypap- 
pevcov t&v xaTCt cfivaiv yivopevcov tois aaTpois 
avaToXwv Te xal Svcrecov xal tcov Sia Tamas 
emTeXovpevcov iiriaypaai&v xara tovs Alyv- 
tttiovs aaTpoXoyovs. tovtov Se tov xvxXov viro 
Kapfivaov xal Hepcr&v ecfaatrav aeavXrjadai xa0' 
ovs xpovovs expaTTjaev AlyvTTTOv. 

6 Tov pev ovv 'OavpavSvov tov fiaoiXecos Tacjiov 
toiovtov yevea0ai (fiacrlv, os ov povov Soxei tt) 
xaTa ttjv Sairdvrjv ^opyyiq. ttoXv tSsv aXXcov 
Sieveyxelv, aXXa xal tt} tcov ts^vitcov emvoia. 

50. Ot Se &7]f3aloi cfiacriv eavTovs dp^aioTaTovs 
eivai iravTcov av0pcoircov, xal irap eavTois irpcoTois 
1 S\or has been suspected. Hertlein conjectured tucpov, 
“ to the top of the tomb.” 

* iraxos ali editors. Capps conjectures irAaTot. 


BOOK I. 49. 3-50. 1 

in the underworld that to the end of his days he had 
lived a life of piety and justice towards both men 
and gods. Next to the library and separated from 
it by a party wall is an exquisitely constructed hall, 
which contains a table with couches for twenty and 
statues of Zeus and Hera as well as of the king; 
here, it would seem, the body of the king is also 
buried. In a circle about this building are many 
chambers which contain excellent paintings of all 
the animals which are held sacred in Egypt. There 
is an ascent leading through these chambers to the 
tomb as a whole. At the top of this ascent there is 
a circular border of gold crowning the monument, 
three hundred and sixty-five cubits in circumference 
and one cubit thick; 1 upon this the days of the year 
are inscribed, one in each cubit of length, and by each 
day the risings and settings of the stars as nature 
ordains them and the signs indicating the effects 
which the Egyptian astrologers hold that they 
produce. 2 This border, they said, had been plun- 
dered by Cambyses and the Persians when he 
conquered Egypt. 

Such, they say, was the tomb of Osymandyas the 
king, which is considered far to have excelled all 
others, not only in the amount of money lavished 
upon it, but also in the ingenuity shown by the 

50. The Thebans say that they are the earliest of 
all men and the first people among whom philosophy 3 

1 In place of “one cubit thick” one should certainly 
expect “one cubit wide.” In that case the space for the 
portrayal of each day would be one cubit square. 

* Here ends the account drawn, except for occasional re- 
marks of Diodorus, from Hecataeus. 

* i.e. in the wider sense of study of knowledge. 



tjuXoaoifriav re evprjaffai /cal ttjv eir aKpi/3et 
dmpoXoylav, dpa xal tjj? ^copa? alnoit avvep- 
yovar]t 77730? to TrfXavyimepov opav to ? eirnoXat 

2 Te /cai Svaeit t&v aurpcov. I8i a>? Se /eat ra 
77-ept tou? prjvat avroif /eat tou? iviavTovt 
SiaTeTiixdai} Tat yap r) pipat ovk dyovai Kark 
aeXr/vigv, aXXa /cara tov tfXioy, TptaKOvOrjpipovt 
pev Ti6ipevoi Tovt prjvat, trivTe 8' rj pipat ical 
rirapTov rolt SeJSe/ea prjalv eirdyovcn, /eai tovtw 
t& TpoiTW tov ivtavtnov kvkXov dvairXrjpovatv. 
epffoXipovt Se prjvat ovk ayovatv ov8’ rjpipat 
vtjraipovm, Kadairep oi ir Xetarot t&v 'EXXrjvoov. 
rrepl Se t&v eKXeirfrewv 17X101/ Te /eat aeX-rjvrjt 
aKpifi&t eTreaKecf>8ai Sokovcti, /eai irpoppr/aett 
•nepl toutotv iroiovvrat, rrrdvTa Ta /eaTa pipot 
yivopeva TrpoXeyovret dSiairTcoTtot. 

3 Tan/ Se tovtov tov jSaaiXicot dtroyovorv oy 8 oot 
6 2 Trpoaayopevdelt Ovxopevt e/eTtae 77-oXw/ Me/t- 
<fuv, eiru^avetnaTr^v t&v KaT Aiyvwrov. ege- 
Xigaro pev yap tottov emKaipoTaTov diraarjt 
t rjt X<upa?, 077-01/ ax^opevot 6 N elXot et? irXeiova 
peprj iroiei to KaXovpevov diro tov axvpaTot 
AeXTa- Sto /eat avvi^rj ttjv iroXiv ei/xalport 
Keipivrjv eVi t&>t/ KXeudpwv etvai Kvpievovaav 

4 t&v et? Trjv aveo x ( * 3 P av dvairXeovrcov. to pe v 
ovv irepi/SoXov Ttjt rroXecot eiroirjae ma8lcov 
eKaTov xal irevrpKovTa, rrjv 8’ oxvporrjTa Kal 

1 Camusatus conjectured Siot^to/ctoi, whioh is adopted by 
Bekker, Dindorf. 

a ivb tov tot pbs after 6 oinitted by C F. 

1 The Egyptians undoubtedly knew the proper length oi 
the year, but their year was one of 365 days snd there is no 

BOOK I. 50. 1-4 

and the exact Science of the stars were discovered, 
since their country enables them to observe more dis- 
tinctly than others the risings and settings of the stars. 
Peculiar to them also is their ordering of the months 
and years. For they do not reckon the days by the 
moon, but by the sun, making their month of thirty 
days, and they add five and a quarter days 1 to the 
twelve months and in this way fili out the cycle of the 
year. But they do not intercalate months or 
subtract days, as most of the Greeks do. Tliey 
appear to have made careful observations of the 
eclipses botli of the sun and of the moon, and predict 
them, foretelling without error all the events whicli 
actually occur. 

Of the descendants of this king, the eighth, known 
as Uchoreus, founded Memphis, the most renowned 
city of Egypt. For he chose the most favourable 
spot in all the land, where the Nile divides into 
several branches to form the “ Delta,” as it is called 
from its shape; and the resuit was that the city, 
excellently situated as it was at the gates of the 
Delta, continually controlled the commcrce passing 
into upper Egypt. Now he gave the city a circum- 
ference of one hundred and fifty stades, and made it 

record of their ever officially intercalating a day every four 
years, as, indeed, Diodorus telis us in the next sentenee (op. 
The Cambridge Ancienl History, 1. p. 168). The distinet 
eontribution of the Egyptians to the calendar was the rejeetion 
of the lunar month and the recognition that the length of 
the divisions of the year should be eonventional. It was 
this eonventional month whioh Julius Caesar introdueed into 
the lunar month calendar of the Romans, practically all 
ancient writers saying in one way or another that the idea 
for his calendar came from Egypt (cp. J. H. Breasted, A 
History of Egypt, pp. 32-3). 



ttjp evxpvartav davpatmjp, t oi&Se tipi Tpontp 

5 Ka.Tacncevdaa<;. peoPTos yap tov N elXov nepl 
ttjp 7 toXip Kal /cara ra? dpa/3dcrei$ iniKXv^opTo<s, 
ano pev tov potov npoe/3aXeTO ^co/ra nap- 
peyeOes, npbi pep ttjp nXijpcoaip tov noTapov 
npof3XrjpAno<;, npos Se tov ? diro tt)? yrjt noXe- 
plov<; aKpoirdkeax! e^ov rdgip- iic Se t&p aXXcop 
pep&p naPTaxbOep &pv^e Xlppijp peydXtjp Kal 
ftaOetap, r) to crfyoSpbp tov noTapov Sexopeprj 
Kai n uptu top nepi ttjp noXip tottop nXtjpovaa, 
nXrjp 77 to %<u/ra KaTecncevactTO, davpaaTrjv 

6 inolei ttjp oxypoTTjTa. ovtco Se /caXaxi 6 /er/aa? 
avTijp icrToxacraTO T77? t&p tottmp ev/ccuplas anne 
t ovi e%Tj<; ftaaiXeh axeSop anaPTat KaTaXmoPTWi 
ra? ®77/Sa? ra T6 fiaaiXeia Kal ttjp oiktjctiv ip 
t avTjj noieladai. Sionep ano tovtcop t&p xpo- 
pcop TjpgaTO Taneipovadai pev t a 7 repi tos 07 jfias, 
avgecrffai Sb Ta nepl ttjp Mep<piP, em? 'AXe- 

IpSpov tov /3acriXew tovtov yap ini daXaTTrj 
ttjp enmpvpop avr& nokip otKiaaPTOi ol /caTa 
t'o egifi ftaaiXevaaPTe'; tt}? Alyvmov ndpTes 

7 eifaXoTip-ijd-rjcrav et? ttjp Tainrjt; avfyjaip. ol pep 
yap j3aaiXeiois peyaXonpeneaip, ol Se vearplovs 
Kal Xipeaip, ol S' eTtpot? dvadrjpacn. Kal KaTa- 
aKevaapaaip dtjioXoyoi? enl tooovtop exoapTjaap 
avTTjp &me napa to t? nXelcTToit np&Tijp tj 
SevTepap dpiOpelodai t&p «ara ttjp oiKOvpeprjp 
noXeoyp. aXXa nepl pep TavTrjt; tcl KaTa pepo ? 
ep toI? ISloK XPOPOKS dpaypayjropep. 

51. 'O Se ttjp M eptj>iv KTiaa<i peTa ttjp tov 
X&paTO<i Kal T 77 ? Xlpprjt; KaTacrKevijv rpKoSbprjae 
fiaalXeia t&p pep napa rot? aXXoK ov Xemo- 

BOOK I. 50. 4-51. i 

remarkably strong and adapted to its purpose by 
Works of the following nature. Since the Nile flowed 
around the city and covered it at the time of inunda- 
tion, he threw out a huge mound of earth on the 
south to serve as a barrier against the swelling of the 
river and also as a citadel against the attacks of 
enemies by land; and all around the other sides he 
dug a large and deep lake, which, by taking up the 
force of the river and occupying all the space about 
the city except where the mound had been thrown up, 
gave it remarkable strength. And so happily did the 
founder of the city reckon upon the suitableness of 
the site that practically all subsequent kings left 
Thebes and established both their palaces and 
official residences here. Consequently from this 
time Thebes began to wane and Memphis to increase , 1 
until the time of Alexander the king; for after he 
had founded the city on the sea which bears his name, 
all the kings of Egypt after him concentrated their 
interest on the development of it. Some adorned it 
with magnificent palaces, some with docks and 
harbours, and others with further notable dedications 
and buildings, to such an extent that it is generally 
reckoned the first or second city of the inhabited 
world. But a detailed description of this city we 
shall set forth in the appropriate period . 2 

51. The founder of Memphis, after constructing 
the mound and the lake, erected a palace, which, 
wliile not inferior to those of other nations, yet was 

1 In common with all the Greek writers, Diodorus knew 
nothing about the chronological development of Egyptian 
history. The great period of Thebes was to come with the 
Eighteenth Dynasty, after 1600 B.o., many centuries sub- 
sequent to the founding of Memphis. 

1 Alexandria is more fully described in Book 17. 62. 



fieva, Tpi Se t&v irpo ftaoiXevadvTiov peya- 

2 Xoijrvxcai icai cjnXoicaXiai ovtc agia. oi ydp 
iyXtopioi t ov pev ev tm %pv XP° V0V eineXp 
iravTeXmi eivai vopi^ovai, t ov Se pera t pv 
TeXevT pv St apejrjv pvppovevOpaop^evov trepi 
irXeiaTov troiovvTai, /eal tcIi pev t&v J covtcov 
oacpcren KaTaXvaen ovopd^ovcriv, d>i oXCyov 
Xpovov ev Tainaii oikovvtcov ppcbv, tovi Se t&v 
TeTeXevTrjKOTiov Tatfrovi diSiovi oikovi irpoaayo- 
pevovaiv, coi ev aSov SiaTeXovvTcov t ov aireipov 
al&va• Sioirep tcov pev tcara Tai oltclai KaTa- 
cncev&v t/ttov cJjpovTcfyvcn, irepl Se Tai Tacpdi 
virep/3oXpv ov/c ditoXeiirovai cpiXoTipiai. 

3 Tpv Se irpoetpppevpv irbXiv bvopaaQpvat Tivei 
<j>acnv airo Trji ffvyaTpoi t ov KTicravTOi aiiTpv 
ftamXecoi. Tatniji Se pvffoXoyovaiv epaadpvai 
t ov iroTapov NeiXov opoicoOevTa Tavpco, /cal 
yevvi/aai tov eir apeTij QavpaadevTa irapa toli 
eyxcopioii AiyviTTov, u<f>’ ov icai Tpv avprraaav 

4 x<°pav Tvxelv Trji irpoapyopiai. SiaSegdpevov 
yap ' tovtov Tpv pyepoviav yeveadai fiaaiXea 
4>iXav6pcoirov /cal Si/cacov /cal KaJdoXov ctttov- 
Saiov ev iracrc Sio «at peyaXpi diroSoxpi a£iov- 
pevov viro irdvTeov Sia Tpv evvoiav Tvxelv Tpi 
irpoeipppevpi Tip.pi. 

5 Mera Se tov irpoetpppevov ftaaiXea S&Se/ca 
yeveaii vaTepov SiaSegdpevoi Tpv «ar’ Aiyvmov 
pyepoviav Motpts ev pev tj) Mepcfrei KaTeavevaae 
t a fiopeia irpoirvXaia, tj) peyaXoirpeirela iroXv 
tcov aXXcov vtrepexovra, eirdvco Se Tpi iroXecoi 
airo Se«a axoivcov XLpvpv &pv%e tj) pev eiixprj- 
a-Tia QavpaaTpv, t& Se peyeOei tcov epycov 

BOOK I. 51. i-5 

no match for the grandeur of design and love of the 
beautiful shown by the kings who preceded him. 
For the inhabitants of Egypt consider the period of 
this life to be of no account whatever, but place the 
greatest value on the time after death when they will 
be remembered for their virtue, and while they give 
the name of “ lodgings ” to the dwellings of the 
living, thus intimating that we dwell in them but a 
brief time, they call the tombs of the dead “ eternal 
homes,” since the dead spend endless eternity in 
Hades; consequcntly they give less thought to the 
fumishings of their houses, but on the manner of 
their burials they do not forgo any excess of zeal. 

The aforementioned city was named, according to 
some, after the daughter of the king who founded it. 
They teli the story that she was loved by the river 
Nile, who had assumed the form of a bull, and gave 
birth to Egyptus, a man famous among the natives 
for his virtue, from whom the entire land received its 
name. For upon succeeding to the throne he showed 
himself to be a kindly king, just, and, in a word, 
upright in all matters; and so, since he was held by 
ali to merit great approbation because of his good- 
will, he received the honour mentioned. 

Twelve generations after the king just named, 
Moeris succeeded to the throne of Egypt and built 
in Memphis itself the north propylaea, which far 
surpasses the others in magnificence, while ten 
schoeni 1 above the city he excavated a lake which 
was remarkable for its utility and an undertaking of 

1 Herodotus (2. 6) says that the schoenus was an Egyptian 
mcasure, equal to sixty stades or approximately seven 
miles, but according to Strabo (17.1.24) it varied from thirty 
to one hundred ana twenty stades. At any rate the Fayum 
is about sixty miles from the site of ancient Memphis. 



6 airiarov’ ttjv pev yap irepiperpov ainrjs tpaaiv 
virapyeiv araSLcov Tpia-^iXitav /cal ega/coaicov, to 
S e ftados iv Tot? tt\u<jtoi<! pepeaiv opyviuv 
TrevTrjKovra • ebene Tt? ov/c av dvaXoyt£opevo<; to 
p.eyeQos tov /caraa/ceudaparot; ei/corto? ^rjTrjaai 
iroaai pvpidSe ? avSposv iv iroaoit eredi tovto 

7 avvereXeaav ; ttjv Se xpeiciv ttjv e/c ravTrpt /cal 
/coivcotf/eXiav roi<; ttjv Aiyvinov ol/covaiv, en Se 
ttjv tov /3aaiXea><; eiTivoiav, ov/c av Tt? inaiveaeie 
ttjc d\rj9eia<i amicos. 

52. ’E7retS^ yap 6 pev Net\o? ov% d>piapeva<s 
eiroieiTO rdi dvaj3aaen, rj Se yorpa ttjv ev/cap- 
1Tiav irapea/ceva^ev diro tt)<: i/ceivov av pperpias, 
el<s vttoSo-)(tjv tov ir\eova£ovTO<; vSaro 9 <bpv£e ttjv 
Xipvtjv, o7ro)9 prjre Sid to irXfj9o<; t rjt pvaea><; 
eiri/cXv£cov d/caipois ttjv ycbpav eXtj /cal Xtpvas 
/caraa/ceva^p, prjr eXarrco tov avp<f>epovro<{ ttjv 
irXTjpwaiv noiovpevo? ttj XeiyfrvSpla t ov<t Kaptrov<! 

2 Xvpaivrjrai. /cal Subpvya pev e/c tov irorapov 
/carea/cevaaev et? ttjv Xipvtjv oySorj/covra pev 
araSicov to prj/cos, rpiirXe9pov Se to irXaTOf 
Sia Se TavTTjt rrore pev Se%opevo ? tov irorapov, 

1Tore S’ dnoarpecpcov, TrapeLyeTO rot? yecopyois 
ttjv t cbv i/Sdrcov eincaiplav, dvoiyopevov tov 
aroparot /cal iraXiv /cXetopevov <f>iXoTexvco<! /cal 
7roXvSa7rdvox;' ov/c eXarrco yap tS>v irevTrjKovTa 
raXdvTcov Sairavav fjv dvay/ctj tov dvolgai ftovXo- 
pevov rj /cXeiaai to Trpoeiprjpkvov /caraa/cevaapa. 

3 SiapepevTj/ce S’ fj Xipvrj ttjv evxptjanav Tcapeyo- 
ph/Tj roh /car Aiyvinov em? r&v /caff Tjpa<t 
Xpovcov, /cal ttjv irpoarjyopiav airo tov /cara- 


BOOK I. 51. 5-52. 3 

incredible magnitude. 1 For its circumference, they 
say, is three thousand six hundred stades and its 
depth in most parts fifty fathoms; what man, 
accordingly, in trying to estimate the magnitude of 
the work, would not reasonably inquire how many 
myriads of men labouring for how many years were 
required for its completion ? And as for the utility 
of this lake and its contribution to the welfare of all 
the inhabitants of Egypt, as well as for the ingenuity 
of the king, no man may praise them highly enough 
to do justice to the truth. 

52. For since the Nile did not rise to a fixed height 
each year and yet the fruitfulness of the country 
depended on the constancy of the flood-level, he 
excavated the lake to receive the excess water, in 
order that the river might not, by an excessive 
volume of flow, immoderately flood the land and form 
marshes and pools, nor, by failing to rise to the 
proper height, ruin the harvests by the lack of water. 
He also dug a canal, eighty stades long and three 
plethra wide, 2 from the river to the lake, and by 
this canal, sometimes tuming the river into the 
lake and sometimes shutting it off again, he fumished 
the farmers with an opportune supply of water, 
opening and closing the entrance by a skilful device 
and yet at considerable expense; for it cost no less 
than fifty talents if a man wanted to open or close 
this work. The lake has continued to serve well the 
needs of the Egyptians down to our time, and bears 
1 F* 16 reference is to the great depression known as the 
Fayum, into which the Nile flowed during the period of 
inundation. The control of this flow, as described below, 
was first undertaken by the Pharaohs of the Twelfth Dynasty, 
especially by Amenemhet III. 

* i.e. about nine miles long and three hundred feet wide. 



<TKevd<ravTO‘i e^et, icaXovpevig pe^pi toO vvv 
MotptSo? Xipvrj. 6 8' ovv j3a<riXev<; opvTTeov 
TavTTjv icaTeXnrev iv peap tottov, iv & rdfpov 
tpKohoprjtre ical Suo TrvpapiSai, ri)v pev eauTov, 
ttjv Se T7/? yvvaucos, <TTaSialas to £m| ro?, i(f>’ 
&v eireaTrjaev ehcovag Xidivas /caOijpevas tVt 
Opovov, vopi^cov Sia tovtwv t &v epyaiv aOava- 
tov eavrov KaraXetyeiv rtjv eV’ dyad& pvrjprjv. 
rrjv 8’ i/c Trj<; Xlp.vt]'; diro t&v l^Outov yivopevrjv 
TrpdtroSov eSio/ce Tjj yuvaucl irpog pupa tcal tov 
aXXov KaXXcoTriapov, <f>epov<n]<; tt}<; 8r)pa<t apyv- 
piov TaXavTov e/cdari)? rjpipaf ei/eoai yap /cal 
Suo yivt) t&v /car ainrjv <f>a<riv l^Ovcov elvai, 
Kal ToaovTov aiiT&v aXiatceadai irXfjOo ? ware 
tovs TrpocncapTepovvTas Tat? rapr^eiat? ovTas 
•trapirXrjdels Svvxep&s irepiyiveadai t&v epyaiv. 

Ilept pev ovv MoipiSog t oaavff iaTopouaiv 

53. Hecroaiaiv Se <f>aaiv varepov eirra yeveaig 
fiaaiXea yevopevov iir«faveararas ical peyiara^; 
t&v irpo avTov irpd£ei<; iiriTeXeaaadai. iirel Se 
irepl tovtov tov / 3 aaiXewi ov povov oi avyypa- 
(fieis oi irapa Tot? ' EW^irt SiaTrecficovrjKaai irpb<; 

1 This practice is bettcr known in the case of the Persian 
rulers. Villages in Syria had been given tbe Queen ilother 
“ for her girdle” (cp. the Englisb “ pin-money Xenophon, 
Anabasii, 1. 4. 9), and when Themistocles was received by 
the Persian king after his exile from Athens three cities of 
Asia Minor were given him—Magnesia for brcad, Lampsacus 
for wine, and Myus for meat (Thucydides, 1. 138. 5). 
Herodotus (2.149; gives the same figure for the income from 


BOOK I. 52, 3-53. 1 

the name of its builder, being called to this day the 
Lake of Moeris. Now the king in excavating it left 
a spot in the centre, where he built a tomb and two 
pyramids, a stade in height, one for himself and the 
other for his wife, on the tops of which he placed stone 
statues seated upon thrones, thinking that by these 
monuments he would leave behind him an imperish- 
able commemoration of his good deeds. The income 
accruing from the fish taken from the lake he gave to 
his wife for her unguents and general embellishment, 
the value of the catch amounting to a talent of silver 
daily; 1 for there are twenty-two different kinds of 
fish in the lake, they say, and they are caught in such 
abundance that the people engaged in salting them, 
though exceedingly many, can scarcely keep up with 
their task. 

Now this is the account which the Egyptians give 
of Moeris. 

53. Sesoosis, 2 they say, who became king seven 
generations later, performed more renowned and 
greater deeds than did any of his predecessors. 
And since, with regard to this king, not only are the 
Greek writers at variance with one another but also 

the catch, but only for the six months when the water “ flows 
from the lake.” A daily catch of the value of more than a 
thousand dollars and a cost of fifty times that sum for 
opening the locks seem highly improbable. 

4 Practically all Greek and Latin writers called him 
Sesostris, and about him stories gathered as about no other 
ruler in ancient history with the exception of Alexander the 
Great. “ In Greek times Sesostris had long since become 
but a legendary figure which cannot be identified with any 
particular king ” (J. H. Breasted, A History of Egypt, p. 189). 
But ccrtain facts narrated in connection with him were 
certainly drawn from memories of the reign of Eamses II of 
the Nineteenth Dynasty. 



dXXqXov}, dXXa Kal r&v kot Aiyvirrov oi t« 
iepe t? Kal ol St a tt)} <p8fj} avrov eyKiapia^ovTe} 
ov% opoXoyovpeva Xeyovaiv, ypel} ireipacropeOa 
t a TTidavwTaTa Kal Tot? virdpxpvcnv eri vara 
ttjv y&pav aypeloi} ra paXiara avp<f)covovvTa 

2 8ieX9elv. yevvy9evTO} yap tov Seao&aio} eiroir)- 
aev o waTrjp avrov peyaXoirpeTre} Tt Kal jHaaiXi- 
kov 1 tov 1 * yap nara ttjv avrrjv rjpepav yevvy- 
6evra<; 7 ratSa? e’£ 0X1 7 ? Trjs AlyvirTov avvayay&v 
Kal Tpofyov} Kal tov 1 } eTnpeXyaopevov} emaTyaa} 
Trjv avTrjv dyooyrjv Kal irai8eiav copiae rot? iraaiv, 
viroXanfidvcov tov? paXiaTa avvTpafykvTa} Kal 
t t}} ainrj} irappT)aias KeKoivoivrjKOTa} evvovaaa- 
tov? Kal avvaywviaTa} iv rot? iroXepoi ? apiaTov ? 

3 eaeadai. iravTa Se 8ayfriX&} xppriyyaa} Ste- 
irovrjae tov ? 7ratSa? eV yvpvaaloi} avvexeai Kal 
ttovoi}' ov8evl yap av t&v etjqv irpoaeveyKaadai 
Tpotprjv, el pq irpoTepov Spdpoi ffTaStov? e/carov 

4 «at oyborjKOVTa. 810 Kal iraVTe ? dv8pm9evTe} 
v-rrqptjav ddXrjTal pev rot? a&paaiv evpoaaToi, 
qyepovtKol Se «at KapTepiKol Tai ? i/rv^at? Sta TJ71/ 
tcov apiaTtov eiriTySevpuTiov aycoyyv. 

6 To /tei/ ow itp&Tov o Seaoaat} arroaTaXel} 
viro tov TtaTpo ? /ieTa 8wdpeoi} el} ttjv 'ApajBlav, 
avaTpaTevopevwv Kal t&v avvTpo<f)0)v, irepl Te 
t a? 9 ripa} 8ievovy9y Kal Tai} dvv8plai} Kal 
airavoamai} eyKapTep qaa} KaTeaTpe^fraTo to 
e9vo} dirav to t&v ’Apd/3cov, 2 dSovXcoTOV tov 

6 7Tyjo tov xpovov yeyovo}' eirena et? tov? 7rpo? 
tt;v eairepav tottov} biroaTaXel} ttjv irXelaTyv 

1 Bekker and Dindorf follow II in omitting liroiriofv and 
adding after PaaiKwiv. 

BOOK I. 53. 1-6 

among the Egyptians the priests and the poets who 
sing his praises give conflicting stories, we for our part 
shall endeavour to give the most probable account 
and that which most nearly agrees with the monu- 
ments stili standing in the land. Now at the birth of 
Sesoosis his father did a thing worthy of a great man 
and a king: Gathering together from over all Egypt 
the male children which had been bom on the same 
day and assigning to them nurses and guardians, he 
prescribed the same training and education for them 
all, on the theory that those who had been reared in 
the closest companionship and had enjoyed the same 
frank relationship would be most loyal and as fellow- 
combatants in the wars most brave. He amply 
provided for their every need and then trained the 
youths by unremitting exercises and hardships; for 
no one of them was allowed to have anything to eat 
unless he had first run one hundred and eighty stades. 1 
Consequently upon attaining to manhood they were 
all veritable athletes of robustness of body, and in 
spirit qualified for leadership and endurance because 
of the training which they had received in the most 
excellent pursuits. 

First of all Sesoosis, his companions also accom- 
panying him, was sent by his father with an army 
into Arabia, where he was subjected to the laborious 
training of hunting wildanimals and, after hardening 
himself to the privations of thirst and hunger, con- 
quered the entire nation of the Arabs, which had 
never been enslaved before his day; and then, on 
being sent to the regions to the west, he subdued the 
1 About twenty miles. 

* 'KpdPw Wesseling: papPdpmr. 



ttjs Alftvrjs vtttjkoov eiroirjaaTi, iravTeXws ve os 

7 wv ttjv rjXiKiav. tov Se irarpos TeXevTtjcravTos 
SiaSefjapevos ttjv /3acri\eiav icat rals irporcaT- 
epyaadeiaais irpdijecri perecopicrOeis, ene^aXero 

8 Tpv oi/covpevijv KaTCUCTrjaaaOai. evioi Se Xeyov- 
aiv avTov viro ttjs iSias Ovyarpos ’A Ovpnos 
TTapa.K\r)6r)vai irpos ttjv twv oXwv SvvaaTeiav, 
rjv oi pev crvveaei iroXv tw v aXXwv Sia<j>epovardv 
<f>aai SiSdtjai tov iraTepa paSiws ecropevtjv 1 ttjv 
arpareiav, oi Se pavTiicfj xpwpevrjv ical to peXXov 
ecrecrdcu irpoyiveocncovaav e/c re rrjs dvriKrjs /cal 
Tfjs eyKoiprjaews ttjs ev Tot? iepois, en S’ eic 2 twv 

9 /carit tov ovpavov yivopevtov arjpeiwv. yeypa- 
<f>acn Se Tives >cal Sioti kcitcL ttjv yeveaiv tov 
%e<rod>aios 6 iraTrjp avTov icaO' virvov So^ai tov 
"H<f>aiarTOv aiiTW Xeyeiv oti irdcrrjs Trjs oIkov- 

10 pevps 6 yevvrjdels it ais KpaTijaef Sia TavTtjv 
oiiv ttjv airiav tov pev iraTepa tovs pXiKiWTas 
tov irpoeiprjpevov adpolcrai ical f3aai\iKrjs dya>- 
yfjs agi&crai, tt poKaTaaKeva^bpevov eis ttjv twv 
oXwv eirideaiv, avTov S’ dvSpwOevTa /cal ttj tov 
6eov tt popprjaei irurTevaavTa KaTeveyOrjvai irpos 
ttjv eiprjpAvrjv crTpaTeiav. 

54. II/jo? Se TavTrjv ttjv eni/3 oXtjv irpwTov pev 
ttjv irpos avTov evvoiav /caTeaicevaae iraai toIs 
KaT hlyvinov, rjyovpjevos Selv tovs pev crvcrTpa- 
Tevovras eToipws virep twv rjyovpevwv airo- 
Ovrjcnceiv, tovs S’ diroXeiiropevovs eVl twv 
iraTpiSwv prjSev vewTepi^eiv, el peXXei ttjv irpoai- 

1 %v before deleted by Dindorf. 

* S' hc Capps : 5e. 


BOOK I. 53. 6-54. 1 

larger part of Libya, though in years stili no more than 
a youth. And when he ascended the throne upon the 
death of his father, being filled with confidence by 
reason of his earlier exploits he undertook to conquer 
the inhabited earth. There are those who say that he 
was urged to acquire empire over the whole world 
by his own daughter Athyrtis, who, according to 
some, was far more intelligent than any of her day 
and showed her father that the campaign would be 
an easy one, while according to others she had the 
gift of prophecy and knew bcforehand, by means 
both of sacrifices and the practice of sleeping in 
temples, 1 as well as from the signs which appear in 
the heavens, what would take place in the future. 
Some lia ve also written that, at the birth of Sesoosis, 
his father had thought that Hephaestus had appeared 
to him in a dream and told him that the son who had 
been bom would rule over the whole civilized world; 
and that for this reason, therefore, his father collected 
the children of the same age as his son and granted 
them a royal training, thus preparing them before- 
hand for an attack upon the whole world, and that 
his son, upon attaining manhood, trusting in the 
prediction of the god was led to under take this 

54. In preparation for this undertaking he first of 
all confirmed the goodwill of all the Egyptians 
towards himself, feeling it to be necessary, if he were 
to bring his plan to a successful end, that his soldiers 
on the campaign should be ready to die for their 
leaders, and that those left behind in their native 

1 The_ ancient practice of incubation, during which the 
god of the temple would grant a revelation through a dream: 
cp. p. 80, n. 1. 



2 peaiv errl TeXo? ageiv. Sio /cal rrdvrw: e/c to>v 
evSeyofievwv evrjpyerei, toi/? pev ypr)pdrmv Stu¬ 
peat? e/c6eparreva>v, tou? Se ^topa? Socret, TtJ/a? Se 
ripa/pias arroXvaei, rravra<: Se rat? opiXiaiv /eat 
rfj r&v rpoTToov 67 riei/ceia rrpoaijyero 1 ra>v re 7 ap 
ftatTikiKwv ey/cXrjpdruiv drravra<s adtpov? acptj/ce 
/cal toi)? 7tpo? apyvpiov avy/ce/cXeipevov$ arreXvae 
rov xpeovs, ovr o? rroXXov rrXrj8ov\ j ev Tat? 

3 <f> i/Xa/eat?. rrjV Se ympav drraaav et? e£ /eat 
rpia/covra peprj SieXwv, a /caXovaiv Alyvrrnoi 
vopovi, irrearrjaev arram vopap%a<; toi/? empe- 
Xr)tropevov<i r&v re rrpoaoSoiv ro>v f3aaiXi/cmv /cal 
Sioucr)<TovTa<i arravra ra /card ra? i’Si'a? pepiSas. 

4 erreXegaro Se /cal 1 tgji/ avSp&v rov ? Tat? pwpaif 
Siaifiepovra ? /eai avvecrrrfcraro arparorreSov agiov 
rov peyedou? rij<s eVt/SoX^?" /careypayjre yap 
rre^mp pev egij/covra pvpiaSa ?, lrrrrei<s Se Siapv- 
piov$ /cal rerpa/ciaxiXiov<;, gevyr/ Se rroXepiarrfpia 

5 Siapvpia /cal errra/cia^iXia. errl Se ra? /eara 

/te/oo? r/yepovlas r&v arpanarwv eruge roii<; 
<rvvrpo<f>ov$, evr]8Xy/c6ra<; pe v fjSr) toi? rroXepoi<s, 
aperrjv S’ egrfXa/Kora ? e/t rraiScov, evvoiav Se 
aSeXcfn/CT)v e^oi/ra? 7rpo? re toi» fiaaiXea /cal 
rrpos aXX/JXoi/?, buras toi» apidpov rrXeiovs r&v 

6 ^iXttui/ /cal errra/cooicov. rraai Se toi? rrpoeiprj- 
pevois /care/cXrjpovxrjae rrjV apiarijv rrjs %copa ?, 
07ra)? e^oKTe? l/cavas rrpoaoSov ? /eat prjSevos 
evSeeis ovres aa/cu/ai ra rrepl toi/? rroXepovs. 

55. KaTaaTeeodaa? Se t/)j/ Svvapiv earparevaev 
errl rrpmrovs AWlorras toi)? 7rpo? t$ pearjpfipta 
/caroi/covvras, /cal /cararroXeprjaas rjvay/caae to 
e^i/o? <f>6povit reXeiv efievov /cal XP vtr ° v Kal twi/ 

BOOK I. 54. 1-55. 1 

lands should not rise in revolt. He therefore showed 
kindnesses to everyone by all means at his disposal, 
winning over some by presents of money, others by 
gifts of land, and others by remission of penalties, 
and the entire people he attached to himself by his 
friendly intercourse and kindly ways; for he set free 
unharmed everyone who was held for some crime 
against the king and cancelled the obligations of 
those who were in prison for debt, there being a great 
multitude in the gaols. And dividing the entire 
land into thirty-six parts which the Egyptians call 
nomes, he set over each a nomarch, who should 
superintend the collection of the royal revenues 
and administer all the affairs of his division. He 
then chose out the strongest of the men and formed 
an army worthy of the greatness of his undertaking ; 
for he enlisted six hundred thousand foot-soldiers, 
twenty-four thousand cavalry, and twenty-seven 
thousand war chariots. In command of the several 
divisions of his troops he set his companions, who were 
by this time inured to warfare, had striven after a 
reputation for valour from their youth, and cherished 
with a brotherly love both their king and one another, 
the number of them being over seventeen hundred. 
And upon all these commanders he bestowed allot- 
ments of the best land in Egypt, in order that, enjoy- 
ing sufficient income and lacking nothing, they might 
sedulously practise the art of war. 

55. After he had made ready his army he marched 
first of all against the Ethiopians who dwell south of 
Egypt, and after conquering them he forced that 
people to pay a tribute in ebony, gold and the 


vi/ru/v after /toi deleted by Dindorf. 


2 eXetpavTtov Tovt oSovTat. eireiT eit pev ttjv 
'Rpvdpav OaXarrav airecneiXe gtoXov ve&v 
TeTpaKoaimv, irp&TOt t&v eyx<opitav paicpa (ncafyrj 
vavirtjyTjadpevot, ical rat re vijaovt Tat ev Tolt 
ToiroLt KaTeKTtjtraTO ical Trjt rjireipov ts irapa 
OdXaTTav peprj KaTeaTptyaTO peypi Trjt ’I vSucrjt' 
avTOt Se /tera Trjt Svvdpecot ire^fj ttjv iropeiav 
iroirjaapevot tcaTecripe-^raio iraaav tijv ’A aiav. 

3 ov povov yap ttjv vaTepov vir' 'AXefjdvSpov tov 
MaiceSovot KaTatCTijdeiaav x&P av eirrjXdev, aXXa 
ical Tiva t5)v edv&v &v eiceivot ov irapefiaXev eit 

4 t rjv x«>P av - Kal yap tov T dyyrjv iroTapov Siefiij 
ical ttjv 'IvSiktjv eirfjXde iraaav ecot wtceavov ical 
t a t&v 'ZtcvB&v edvrj pexpi T avalSot iroTapov 
TOV Siopifyvrot ttjv Evp&TTTjv airo TT]t ‘Aaiaf 
ot e Srj (f>aai t&v AiyvTTTiwv Tivat icaTaXeicpdevTat 
irepl ttjv Mai&Tiv Xipvrjv avcmjaaadai t o t&v 

5 Ko\%wv edvot- otl Se tovto t o yevot AiyviTTia- 
kov i<ni atjpeiov elvai t o irepnepveadai Tovt 
dvBp&irovt irapairXTjaicot Tolt «ar Aiyvrnov, 
SiapevovTOt tov vop.ip.ov irapa Tolt airoiicoit, 
icaddirep ical irapa roit 'lovSaioit. 

6 Opouot Se ical t rjv Xoitttjv ’A aiav airaaav 
virrjKOov eiroirjaaTO ical t&v K vicXdScov vijatov 
Tat irXeiovt. Siaftat S’ ett ttjv Evp&irtjv ical 
Siegi&v airaaav ttjv Qpdtcrjv eicivSvvevaev airo- 
fiaXeiv t rjv Svvaptv Sia airaviv Tpofyrjt ical 

7 Toircov Svaxcopiat. Sioirep opia Trjt mpaTeiat 
iroirjaapevot ev t jj ®paKTj, aiijXat Kaieaicevaaev 
ev iroXXolt Toiroit t&v vir ’ aiiTov KaTatcTTjdevTcov’ 
aiiTai Se ttjv eiriypacprjv el%ov AlyvirTioit ypap- 


BOOK t 55- i-7 

tusks of elephants. Then he sent out a fleet of 
four hundred ships into the Red Sea, 1 being the 
first Egyptian to build warships, and not only took 
possession of the islands in those waters, but also 
subdued the coast of the mainland as far as India, 
while he himself made his way by land with his army 
and subdued ali Asia. Not only did he, in fact, visit 
the territory which was afterwards won by Alexander 
of Maccdon, but also certain peoples into whose 
country Alexander did not cross. For he even 
passed over the river Ganges and visited all of India 
as far as the ocean, as well as the tribes of the 
Scythians as far as the river Tanais, which divides 
Europe from Asia; and it was at this time, they say, 
that some of the Egyptians, having been left behind 
near the Lake Maeotis, founded the nation of the 
Colchi.* And the proof which they offer of the 
Egyptian origin of this nation is the fact that the 
Colchi praetise circumcision even as the Egyptians 
do, the custom continuing among the colonists sent 
out from Egypt as it also did in the case of the Jews. 

In the same way he brought all the rest of Asia into 
subjection as well as most of the Cyclades islands. 
And after he had crossed into Europe and was on his 
way through the whole length of Thrace he nearly 
lost his army through lack of food and the difficult 
nature of the land. Consequently he fixed the limits 
of his expedition in Thrace, and set up stelae in many 
parts of the regions which he had acquired; and 
these carried the following inscription in the Egyptian 

1 Not the present Ked Sea, but the Persian Gulf and the 
Indian Ocean. 

* The Tanais river and the Lake Maeotis are the Don and 
the Sea of Azof respeetively, but the eountry of the Colehi 
is gcneraily plaeed in the Caueasus. 



paat toZ? iepolt 'Xeyopevois, “ TrfvSe rfjv \wpcLv 
onXot<i xarearpe^raro rots eavrov fiaoiXeix; 
ftaaiXecov xal Seanorrpi Seanor&v Seaocoo-t?.” 

8 rr/v Se arrjXrjv xareaxevaaev exovaav alSoiov ev 
pev Tot? paxtpotv edveatv avSpo<i, ev Se toZ? 
dyevveat xal SeCXoli yvvaixo<s, ano rov xvpuorepov 
pepo vi rrjv SidOeatv rrji exaarwv yjn>xrj<: <f>avepo)- 

9 rarrjv toi? intytvopevoti eaeadat vopl^wv. ev 
evioLi Se ronoti «at rrjv eavrov xareaxevaaev 
elxova XtQLvrjv, rotja «ai Xoyxvv exovaav, r& 
peyeOei rerrapai it aXataraii petfrva rcbv rer- 
rapcov nrjx&v, rjXixo<; arv xal avrbi ervyxavev. 

10 inteix&i Se npoaevexSeli anaat rot? vnoreray- 
pevoi ? «ai avvreXeaai rrjv arparelav ev ereaiv 
evvea, toi? pev edveat xara Svvapiv npoaeral-e 
Swpocfropelv xar eviavrov ets Aiyvnrov, auro? 
S’ aOpotaas aixpaXcbrcov re «ai rcbv aXXcov 
Xacfrvpcov 7 rXrjdot dvvnepftXrjrov inavfj\ 6 ev et? 
rrjv narptSa, peyiarai npateti rcbv rrpo avrov 

11 xareipyaapevov. icat ra pev iepa ndvra ra xar 
Aiyvnrov uvaQrjpaatv a^toXoyon «ai axvXott 
exbaprjae, rcbv Se arpartcor&v roiii dvSpayaOrj- 

12 aavrai Scopeali xar a rrjv agtav ertprjae. xaOoXov 
Se ano ravrrjs rfjs arpareiat ov pbvov r) avvav 
SpayaBrjaaaa Svvapt ? peydXrjv evnoptav xrrjaa- 
pevrj rrjv endvoSov inotrjaaro Xapnpdv, aXXd xal 
rtjv Aiyvnrov anaaav avve/Stj navroLat dnpeXetai 

1 H. R. Hali ( The Ancient History of the Near East *, pp. 
161-2) gives a translation of a stele set up at Semneh by 
Senusret III of the Twelfth Dvnasty, who is often identified 
with the Sesoosis of Diodorus, and observes that its language, 


BOOK I. 55 . 7-12 

writing which is called “ sacred ”: “ This land the 
King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Sesoosis, subdued 
with his own arms.” And he fashioned the stele with 
a representation, in case the enemy people were war- 
like, of the privy parts of a man, but in case they were 
abject and cowardly, of those of a woman, holding 
that the quality of the spirit of each people would be 
set forth most clearly to succeeding generations by 
the dominant member of the body. 1 And in some 
places he also erected a stone statue of himself, armed 
with bow and arrows and a spear, in height four cubits 
and four palms, which was indeed his own stature. 2 
Ile dealt gently with ali conquered peoples and, after 
concluding his campaign in nine years, commanded 
the nations to bring presents each year to Egypt 
according to their ability, while he himself, assembling 
a multitude of captives which has never been sur- 
passed and a mass of other booty, returned to his 
country, having accomplished the greatest deeds of 
any king of Egypt to his day. All the temples of 
Egypt) moreover, he adorned with notable votive 
offerings and spoils, and honoured with gifts accord¬ 
ing to his merits every soldier who had distinguished 
himself for bravery. And in general, as a resuit of 
this campaign not only did the army, which had 
bravely shared in the deeds of the king and had 
gathered great wealth, make a brilliant homeward 
joumey, but it also came to pass that all Egypt was 
filled to overflowing with benefits of every kind. 
unique in this period for its scom of the conquered negroes, 
IS strikingly reminiscent of the stelae described in this passage 
and by Herodotus 2. 102. 

About seven feet; cp. the hed of Og, king of Bashan 
(Deut. 3. 11), which was nine cuhits long and four wide; “is 
it not in Rabhath of the ohildren of Ammon ? ” 



56. 'O Se —eabaxrtg diroaTrjTag ra ir \rj8r) diro 
tmv TroXefUKtbv epywv t oi? pev avvavSpayad ijoaat, 
avve^cbprjffe ttjv paaTtovpv kcu tt/v airoAavaiv 
tmv KaTaKTtjOevToov ayad&v, ainog Se (fnXoSo^og 
&v Kal t?}? eis tov aiwva pvpprjg opeyopevog 
KaTerrKevaaev epya peyaka Kal davpacna rcu? 
emvoiaig Kal rat? xop/yytat?, eavrtp pev adavarov 
irepmoiovvTa S6%av, toi? S’ Alyo-mioui t rjv et? 
airavTa tov ypovov aafyaAeiav pera paaTMvtfi. 

2 7r pd)T 0 v pev yap diro Oetbv dp^apevog cpKoSoprjaev 
ev tratraig Ttu? wt’ Atyvmov irb\e<nv iepov 
deov tov pdXtoTa irap' e/caaTot? TipMpevov. 
7 T/J 0 ? Se ra? epyaalag tmv pev AlyvirTLMV ovSeva 
nape\a/3e, Si’ aindiv Se tmv atxpa\a> tmv atravra 
KaTecTKevaae- Siorrep evl iracn, t oi? iepolg eVe- 
ypa\frev to? ovSelg ey^tupto? et? abra pepb^dr)Ke. 

3 XeyeTat Se tmv atypaXcbreov t oi»? e’/t t?)? Ba^u- 
Xtowa? dXoi/ra? diroairjvai tov /SacrtXeto?, p?) 
Svvapevovg <f>epet,v t a? ei/ Tot? epyot? TaXanrtupta?’ 
ot)? KaTaXaSopevovg irapa tov irOTapov x u> P l0V 
Kaprepbv StairoXepelv Tot? AlyvirrioK /eat t?;j/ 
avveyyvg x™P av tcaTa<f>Oeipeiv, reXo? Se So^etVp? 
dSeta? avTols KaTOiKrjtrai tov tottov, ov Kal diro 

4 t»?? iraTpLSog BafivXMva irpocrayopevo-ai. St’ 
atrta? Se TTapairXr)(ilov<; (fiaolv MvopdaOat, Kal 
TYjV 'Ypolav tt)v en 1 t>t3i/ ovaav irapa tov NetXov 
tov pev ydp M eveXaov e’f 'iXtoi/ irXeovTa peTa 

‘ xal after tn omitted by D and Vogel, retained by Bekker 
and Dindorf. 

1 “ Few of the great temples of Egypt have not some 
ehamber, hall, colonnade or pylon whioh bears his (ltamses II) 


BOOK I. 56. 1-4 

56. Sesoosis now relieved his peoples of the labours 
of war and granted to the comrades who had bravely 
shared in his deeds a care-free life in the enjoyment 
of the good things which they had won, while he 
himself, being ambitious for glory and intent upon 
everlasting fame, constructed works which were 
great and marvellous in their conception as well as 
in the lavishness with which their cost was provided, 
winning in tkis way immortal glory for himself 
and for the Egyptians security combined with ease 
for all time. For beginning with the gods first, he 
built in each city of Egypt a templc to the god who 
was held in special reverence by its inhabitants. 1 
On these labours he used no Egyptians, but con¬ 
structed them all by the hands of his captives alone; 
and for this reason he placed an inscription on every 
temple to the effect that no native had toiled upon 
it. And it is said that the captives brought from 
Babylonia revolted from the king, being unable to 
endure the hardships entailed by his works; and 
they, seizing a strong position on the banks of the 
river, maintained a warfare against the Egyptians 
and ravaged the neighbouring territory, but finally, 
on being granted an amnesty, they established a 
colony on the spot, which they also named Babylon 
after their native land. For a similar reason, they 
say, the city of Troy likewise, which even to this 
day exists on the bank of the Nile, received its name : 2 
for Menelaus, on his voyage from Ilium with a great 

name, in perpctuating which the king stopped at no desecra- 
tion or destruet ion of the ancient monuments of the country ” 
(J. H. Breasted, Hislory o/ Egypt, p. 443). 

* Strabo (17.1. 34) mentione a village of this name near the 



iroXX&v aixpaX&Tiov irapa&aAelv eis Alr/vmov, 
tou? Se Tp&as drroaTavTas avrov KaTa\a/3ea6ai 
riva Toirov ical SiairoXeprjoai pexpi otov avy- 
X<opr)6eiar)s avrois t f}<; aotfiaXeias eKTiaav irokiv, 

5 rjv op&vvpov avTOVS Troirj&ai rfj irarpiSi. ovk 
ayvow S’ ori irepl t&v elprjpevav iroXecov KTtjaias 
6 KwSto? Sia<j>opcos ioroprjoe, <$>r)<ias t&v pera 
SepipapiSos Trapa/3a\ovT(i>v et? Aiyvmov rivas 
e/cTi/cevai ravras, arro t&v ISitov irarpiStov 

6 Oepevovs rtjv rrpoar)yopLav. rrepi Se tovtcov to 
pev dXrjOes exdeadai pera a/cpifietas ov paSiov, 
to S’ avaypatprjs d^i&aai ra Siaijxovovpeva irapa 
rot? (Tvyypatyevmv dvay/caiov, ornos a/cepaios t) 
rrepi rr)s aKrjOeias tcpiaris diroXeiirtjTai rot? ava- 

57. 'O S’ ovv leooioats x<o/ta ra rroWa tccu, 
pueyaka tcaraaicevdaas rds TroXeis eis raDra 
per&Ktoev, ooai pr) tfivaiK&s to eSa<f>os ervyxavov 
eirrjppevov exovaai, ornos /cara ra? ■nXrjpaxreis 
t ov norapov Karatfivyas e^eoati' d/civSvvovs di re 

2 dvOpio-Koi /cal ra ktt)vt). /cara rracrav Se tt)v 
X<i>pav tt]V diro Mepsfiems e-rrl OaXarrav &pv%e 
7 TVKvas etc tov irorapov Si&pvxas, iva t a? pev 
ovyKopiSas t &v Kapir&v iroi&vrai avvroptos /tat 
paSitos, Tat? Se irpos d\\ij\ovs t&v \a&v em- 
pigiais /tat irdei t ois tottois vi rdpxy paor&vr) 
Kai TrdvTiov t&v trpos diroXavaiv i toXXtj SaifriXeia • 
to Se peyiaTOV, rrpos Ta? t&v rroAepieov ecpoSovs 
oxvpav xai Svoep/3o\ov eiroirjae rt)v x < * > P av ‘ 

3 tov yap irpo tov XP° vov V k pariori) rrjs Alyv- 


BOOK I. 56. 4-57- 3 

number of captives, crossed over into Egypt; and 
the Trojans, revolting from him, seized a certain 
place and maintained a warfare until he granted 
them safety and freedom, whereupon they founded 
a city, to which they gave the name of their native 
land. I am not unaware that regarding the cities 
named above Ctesias of Cnidus has given a different 
account, saying that some of those who had come 
into Egypt with Semiramis founded them, calling 
them after their native lands. 1 But on such matters 
as these it is not easy to set forth the precise truth, 
and yet the disagreements among historians must 
be considered worthy of record, in order that the 
reader may be able to decide upon the truth without 

57. Now Sesoosis threw up many great mounds 
of earth and moved to them such cities as happened 
to be situated on ground that was not naturally 
elevated, in order that at the time of the flooding 
of the river both the inhabitants and their herds 
might have a safe place of retreat. And over the 
entire land from Memphis to the sea he dug frequent 
canals leading from the river, his purpose being that 
the people might carry out the harvesting of their 
crops quickly and easily, and that, through the con¬ 
stant intercourse of the peasants with one another, 
every district might enjoy both an easy livelihood 
and a great abundance of all things which minister 
to man’s enjoyment. The greatest resuit of this 
work, however, was that he made the country secure 
and difficult of access against attacks by enemies; 
for practically all the best part of Egypt, which 

1 This campaign of Semiramis is described in Book 2. 14; 
on Ctesias op. the Introduction, pp. xxvif. 



tttov Traaa a%e 56 v iTnrdcrip.og ovaa /cal rati 
(TWa>pL(TLv evftaTos air i/ceivov tov xpopov Sta to 
7 tXt) 8 o<! T&V i/C TOV TTOTUflOV SltOpv^lOV 8 v<T€(j}o 8 o)- 

i TCIT7) yiyovev. eVet^tae Se «at ttjv 7 r /009 dua- 
ToXd<; vevovaav TrXevpav T-i /9 A lyvwTov 77/309 ra 9 
a7ro t^9 Xvpia<: «at T 779 ’Apa/ 3 ta 9 ip,/3oXd<; diro 
UrjXova-iov /xe'^pt 'H\toi/ 7 ro\e &>9 Sta tJ/9 iprjp,ov, 
to p,rj/co<s iirl o-raSiovi %i\iov<s «at irevTaKOaiov<;. 

5 evavTTTjyrjcraTO Se «at irXolov /ceSpivov to p,iv 
/t^«09 trrjxcov Sia/coaloov «at oy8oi}/covTa, ttjv 8’ 
inupdveiav e^ou T^t> /reu e^mOev iirixpvaov, ttjv 
S’ ev8o0ev KaTrjpyvpoop.evT]V «at tovto p,ev 
avedrjKe Ttp 8e& t& pdXiaTa iv ®ij/3at<: Tt/tw- 
/tevm, Suo Te 1 XiQivovg 6/3e\i<TK0V<! i/c tou a/cXrjpov 
Xldov 7 ttjx&v to vyjro<: ei/coai npos TOt9 e/caTov, 
e<f> &v iniypayffe to tc peyeOo<i tt}<: 8vvdp.ea><s «at 
to TrXrjdog t&v irpoa68a>v «ai tov dpiOpcov t&v 
/caTatToXeprjOkvTd/v iffv&v iv Mkpupet 8' iv t& 
tov H^>ataTOU teptp p.ovoXlffov<s € ite ova 9 eavTov 
Te «ai T 779 yvvai/co<s to v^fro? TpidtcovTa irrjx&v, 
t&v 8’ vi&v el/coai tttjx&v, St ei <rvpino>p,a ToiovSe. 

8 e’« T779 p.eydXrj<i <TTpcneLa<s ara/cdp,\jravTO<: et’9 
Atyvmov tov Xeao&aiog /cal 8iaTpi{3ovTO? irepl 
to TlrjXovaiov, etTTi&v civtov 6 a8e\<f>6 9 /tera 
T 779 yvvai/co<s /cal t&v tUvcov imftovXrjv avve- 
<TTTjcraTO■ dvairavaap,kva>v yap avr&v diro tt)<s 
p,e0Ti<s, exmv /caXdpov grjpov nXrjOos i/c XP° V0V 
77 ape<T/ceva<Tp.evov, /cai tovto vv/cto<s t fj a/crjvrj 
1 r« Wesseling : 54. 

BOOK I. S7 . 3-6 

before this time had been easy of passage for horses 
and carts, has from that time on been very difiicult 
for an enemy to invade by reason of the great 
number of canals leading from the river. He also 
fortified with a wall the side of Egypt which faces 
east, as a defence against inroads from Syria and 
Arabia; the wall extended through the desert from 
Pelusium to Heliopolis, and its length was some 
fifteen hundred stades. Moreover, he also built a 
ship of cedar wood, which was two hundred and 
eighty cubits long and plated on the exterior with 
gold and on the interior with silver. This ship he 
presented as a votive offering to the god who is 
held iu special reverence in Thebes, as well as two 
obelisks of hard stone one hundred and twenty 
cubits high, upon which he inscribed the magnitude 
of his army, the multitude of his revenues, and the 
number of the peoples he had subdued; also in 
Memphis in the temples of Hephaestus he dedicated 
monolithic statues of himself and of his wife, thirty 
cubits high, 1 and of his sons, twenty cubits high, 
the occasion of their erection being as follows. When 
Sesoosis had retumed to Egypt after his great cam- 
paign and was tarrying at Pelusium, his brother, 
who was entertaining Sesoosis and his wife and 
children, plotted against them; for when they had 
fallen asleep after the drinking he piled great 
quantities of dry rushes, which he had kept in readi- 
ness for some time, around the tent in the night and 

1 The account through here of Sesoosis closely follows that 
given by Herodotus 2. 102 ff. Near Memphis are two colossi 
of Ramses II, the larger of which was about forty-two feet 
high, approximately the thirty cubits of Diodorus and of 
Herodotus 2. 110 ( Baedeker’i Egypl, p. 141). 



7 7 repideis, eveirprjaev. acfivco Se tov irvpos exXap- 
yfravros ol pev iirl ri)s Oepaireias tov fiamXecos 
reraypevoi irape^oi)6ovv ayevvcSs &s av olvcopevoi, 
6 Se Zeaocoais apcfiorepas ras j(eipa<; dvareivas 
xal virep rr/s a (arripias r&v re iraiScov xal r i)s 
yvvaixos rots Oeols eii^apevos Stegeiretre Sia ri)s 

8 < pXoyos. acodels Se irapaSotjcos tovs aXXovs 
deo iis iriprjo-ev dvaQrjpaai , xaBori irpoeiprjTai, 
irdvTcav Se paXicrra tov "ihfiaicrTov, cos viro 
tovtov rerev^dis rrjs a corripias. 

58. IIoWwv Se xal peyaXcov irepl tov Zeaoco- 
aiv VTraptjdvTcov So/cei peyaXoirpeirearaTOV avr& 
yeyovevai to awreXovpevov ev rais itjoSois irepl 

2 r oiis rjyepovas- r&v yap xaTaireiroXepripevcov 
eOv&v ol re ras crvyxexcoprj pevas fiacnXeias 
eyovres xal t&v aXXcov oi ras peyiaras r)ye- 
povias TrapeiXrjcjioTes airrjvrcov eis Aiyvirrov iv 
raxrois xpovois cfiepovres S&pa' ovs 6 /SacriXevs 
exSexopevos ev pev rots aXXois eripa xal Siacfie- 
povTcos rrporjyev, oirore Se irpos iepov fj iroXiv 
rrpoaievai peXXoi, tovs iirirovs diro tov redpiirirov 
Xvtov inre^evyvvev dvrl tovtcov xara rerrapas 
tovs re /3acriXeis xai roiis aXXovs rjyepovas, 
evSeixvvpevos, &S coero, iraaiv oti tovs t&v 
aXXcov xpario-rovs xal Si dperriv eiri^aveaTaTovs 
xarairoXepricras eis apiXXav aperi)s ovx e^ei 

3 tov Svvapevov crvyxpiOrjvai. Soxei S’ ovtos 6 
fiacriXevs iravras tovs ir&irore yevopevovs ev 
e^ovaiais virepfiefirjxevai rais re iroXepixais 
irpageai xal t& peyedei xal t& irXqdei t&v re 
avadriparcov xal t&v epycov t&v xareaxevacrpe- 
vcov xar Aiyvirrov. errj Se rpia irpos rois rpia- 

BOOK I. 57. 6-58. 3 

set them afire. When the fire suddenly blazed up, 
those who had been assigned to wait upon the king 
came to his aid in a churlish fashion, as would men 
heavy with wine, but Sesoosis, raising both hands to 
the heavens with a prayer to the gods for the preserva- 
tion of his children and wife, dashed out safe through 
the flames. For this unexpected escape he honoured 
the rest of the gods with votive offerings, as stated 
above, and Hephaestus most of ali, on the ground 
that it was by his intervention that he had been saved. 

58. Although many great deeds have been credited 
to Sesoosis, his magnificence seems best to have been 
shown in the treatment which he accorded to the 
foreign potentates when he went forth from his 
palace. The kings whom he had allowed to con¬ 
tinue their rule over the peoples which he had 
subdued and all others who had received from him 
the most important positions of command would 
present themselves in Egypt at specified times, 
bringing him gifts, and the king would welcome 
them and in all other matters show them honour and 
special preferment; but whenever he intended to 
visit a temple or city he would remove the horses 
from his four-horse chariot and in their place yoke 
the kings and other potentates, taking them four at 
a time, in this way showing to all men, as he thought, 
that, having conquered the mightiest of other kings 
and those most renowned for their excellence, he 
now had no one who could compete with him for 
the prize of excellence. This king is thought to 
have surpassed all former rulers in power and military 
exploits, and also in the magnitude and number of 
the votive offerings and public works which he built 
in Egypt. And after a reign of thirty-three years 


Kovra /SaeiXevcras ix irpoaipiaem^ igeXnre tov 
/ 3iov, tnroXnrovTmv avrov t&v opparoiv xal 
tovto irpa^at ov fibvov 7 rapa rot? lepevaiv, aXXa 
xal irapa rot? aXXoK Alyv7TTioi<; i0avjida0ij, 
Sofa? ttJ p.eya\o^{rv^la t&v nen payjxevwv 
axoXov0ov TreTTOirjadcu ttjv tov /3iov xara- 


4 E*7r l tooovto 8' icr%vcre xal Siereive rot? 
Xpovois fj Bbga tovtov tov ffaatXet 0? &<tt6 tjj? 
AiyviTTOV 7 roWat? yevealt; vcnepov Treaovarjf viro 
ttjv i^ovaiav t&v Tlepa&v, xal AapeLov tov 
'Bepgov iraTpb<! tnrovSdaavTOS iv M epcfiei ttjv 
I8iav elxbva oTrjoai irpo t t)? 1 Xea oeoerto?, o pev 
apxiepevs avTeine Xoyov irpoTe0evTO<; iv ixxXrj- 
ala t&v lepecov, airo<f>Tjvdp,evo<; tu? ovttco Aapeto? 
{nrepfie07)xe Ta? £e<xow<xto? irpageis, 6 8e 0acri- 
\ei>? oir^ 07rto? rjyavdxTrjaev, aXXa xal TovvavTiov 
rja0el<i ini Tjj nappTjaia airovBdaeiv e<f>r)aev 
07rtu? xaTa prjBev ixeivov Xeup0eiTj /3tc6<xa? tov 
taov XP°vov, xal irapexdXei avyxpiveiv Ta? 
rjXixi(OTi8a<; irpdgeis- tovtov yap BtxaiOTaTOV 
eXeyxov elvai t% dpeTrjs. 

5 Ilepl /iev ow Sea-ocoato? apxea0rja6p.e0a Tot? 
Xoyov; Tot? 'prj0eloiv. 

59. 'O S’ Lito? ai)Tov 8ia8e^dp.evo<s ttjv /3aot- 
Xeiav xai ttjv tov iraTpb<; n poarjyopiav eavT& 
Trepidep.evo<; irpa^tv uev iroXepuxrjv rj p.vrjp,rj<t 
agtav ov8’ rjvTtvovv crvveTeXecraTO, ovjnrT&jiaTi 

2 Se irepieneaev l8ia£ovTi. itJTeprj0Tj pev yap ttj; 
opaereco? etre Sta ttjv 7 rpo? tov iraTepa tt)? 
«putreto? xoivoivlav ei0\ <y? Ttt«e? p,v0oXoyovai, Sta 
ttjv et? Ton noTapov doefteiav, iv a> ^et/tafo/tero? 

BOOK I. 58. 3-59. 2 

he deliberately took his own life, his eyesight having 
failed him; and this act won for him the admiration 
not only of the priests of Egypt but of the other 
inhabitants as well, for it was thought that he had 
caused the end of his life to comport with the loftiness 
of spirit shown in his achievements. 

So great became the fame of this king and so 
enduring through the ages that when, many genera- 
tions later, Egypt feli under the power of the Persians 
and Darius, the father of Xerxes, was bent upon 
placing a statue of himself in Memphis before that 
of Sesoosis, the chief priest opposed it in a speech 
which he made in an assembly of the priests, to the 
effect that Darius had not yet surpassed the deeds 
of Sesoosis; and the king was far from being angered, 
but, on the contrary, being pleased at his frankness 
of speech, said that he would strive not to be found 
behind that ruler in any point when he had attained 
his years, and asked them to base their judgment 
upon the deeds of each at the same age, for that was 
the fairest test of their excellence. 

As regards Sesoosis, then, we shall rest content 
with what has been said. 

59. But his son, succeeding to the throne and 
assuming his fatlier’s appellation, did not accom- 
plish a single thing in war or otherwise worthy of 
mention, though he did have a singular experience. 1 
He lost his sight, either because he shared in his 
father’s bodily constitution or, as some fictitiously 
relate, because of his impiety towards the river, 
since once when caught in a storm upon it he had 

1 The following folk story, with some variations, is given 
in Herodotus 2, 111. 

1 rpb r rjs Dindorf: *pb tt jr tov. 



TTOT€ to <j bepopevov pevpa KarrjKovnae- Sia Se 
T \ V °- T ?X lav dvay/caa 9 els Ka.Ta<f>vyeIv ini ttjv 
t&v 9 e&v fiorfleuty, ini xpovovs 'ucavov? nXeuarais 
Pvmais icat ripaus to ueiov i^iXaaKopevos ovSe- 

3 pias irvyxave noXvtapias- r& Se/cdrp 8 ’ hei 
pavreias avr& yevopivrjg nprjaau re rov Oeov 
tov ev UX.i0w7r0X.ei /cal yvvaucos ovpat vi^ea 9 ai 
to npoawnov t]tls hipov nelpav civSpos ovk 
et\rj(j}e, r&v pev yvvautc&v and rfjs IStas dptja- 
pevoi tcal noXXas il-erdaas ovSeplav evpev aSia- 
<f> 0 opov nXrjv tcifnovpov rivos, rjv vyttjs yevopevos 
eyrjpe' ras S’ aXXas ^cdaas iv K&pr] rivi /care- 
navaev, rjv Alyvnrioi Sia to avpnrwpa rovro 

4 npoarjyopevaav lepdv 0 &Xov r& S’ iv 'HXiov- 
rroXei 0 e& tus x^-piras anovipcov rrjs eiiepye- 
aias tcarh rov xpyo-pov o 0 eXuaKovs dvi 0 r}ice Svo 
povoXiPovs, to pev nXaros 6 /crd>, to Se prj/cos 
nrfX&v enarov. 

60. Mera Se rovrov rov 0 aatXia avxvoi r&v 
SuaSej-apei 'aw rrjv apx^v rives ovSev enpagav 
avaypatfrrjs a£uov. noXXais S’ varepov yeveais 
*A paais yevopevos 0 aauXevs rjpxe r&v oxXeov 
fiiaiorepov noXXovs puev yap napa to Su/caiov 
iripaspeiro, avxvoijs Se r&v ovai&v iaripiaice, 
nam S yneponn/cars tcau /cara nav vnept)<f>dva>s' 

2 npoaejrepero, * pexpt pev ox>v rivos oi naaxovres 
i/caprepovv, ov Svvdpevoi icar oi/Seva rponov 
apvvaaPai rovs nXeov laxvovras' inel S’ 
'AKnadvtjs 6 t&v AWionoov fiaauXevs iarpa¬ 
re vae v in aiirov, rore rov pLaovs Kaipov Xa- 

1 One of these obelisks stili stands, of red granite of Syene 

and 66 feet high. The largest obelisk in the world, that 

BOOK I. 59. 2-60. 2 

hurled a spear into the rushing current. Forced by 
this ill fortune to tum to the gods for aid, he strove 
over a long period to propitiate the deity by numer- 
ous sacrifices and honours, but received no con- 
sideration. But in the tenth year an oracular 
command was given to him to do honour to the god 
in Heliopolis and bathe his face in the urine of a 
woman who had never known any other man than 
her husband. Thereupon he began with his own 
wife and then made trial of many, but found not one 
that was chaste save a certain gardeners wife, 
whom he married as soon as he was recovered. All 
the other women he burned alive in a certain village to 
which the Egyptians because of this incident gave the 
name Holy Field; and to the god in Heliopolis, out of 
gratitude for his benefaction, he dedicated, in accord- 
ance with the injunction of the Oracle, two monolithic 
obelisks, 1 eight cubits wide and one hundred high. 

60. After this king a long line of successors on 
the throne accomplished no deed worth recording. 

But Amasis, who became king many generations 
later, ruled the masses of the people with great 503-520 
harshness; many he punished unjustly, great num- B C - 
bers he deprived of their possessions, and towards 
all his conduct was without exception contemptuous 
and arrogant. Now for a time his victims bore up 
under this, being unable in any way to protect 
themselves against those of greater power; but when 
Actisanes, 2 the king of the Ethiopians, led an army 
against Amasis, their hatred seized the opportunity 

before the Lateran, is 100 feet high; the 160 feet of Diodorus 
seems a little too big. 

2 A. Wiedemann (Agyptische Oeschichte, p. 582, n. 1) thinks 
that Actisanes is no more than a double of the Ethiopian 
Sabaeo of chap. 65. 



3 /8oi<to? 1 awecnrjaav oi irXelaroi. Bioirep paSLav; 
avrov xeipcodevTO*; ij pev AXyvrnos e-rreoev viro 
T-rjv t 5 >v Aidio-rroov fiatriXeiav, 6 8 ’ 'A-KTiadvqs 
avdpanrlvav; eveyica<; t tjv eiiTv^iav e-riei/ctu? 

4 irpo<re<j>epeTo Tot? vTTOTeTaypevot,*;' ore Bi] Kal 
avveTeXeaev tBiov t i irepl tou? XpcrTa?, ov Te 
davarrnaa^ toi)? eVo^on? ov Te oXoaxepm a<£et? 

5 aTipuoapipTOV^ avvayayaiv yap e£ airaar)*; ttjs 
XO> pa<! toi)? ev eykXqpao-iv oura? KaKovpyia<s, 
koL tt)V Bidyvaxriv avT&v BiKaiOTUTqv iroiqrrd- 
pievos, rjdpourev a,Travra<s toi)? KaTaSeSiKatrp,evov^, 
diroTep,it)v S’ ain&v toi)? pMKTqpas KaTWKiaev ev 
t oZ? eV^arot? tj}? eprpxov, 2 tcrlo-as iroXiv ttjv diro 

6 Autij Se Keipevq irpcxs rot? pxdopLois ttj? 
AlyvTTTOV Kal "Zvpias ov paicpav tov irapqKOVTOS 
alyiaXov vdvTcov crxeBov t&v 7rpo? dvdpmirlvqv 

7 Bianav dvqtcovTodv emepqrar irepiexei pev yap 
avTrjv X<B/oa irXqpr)<; dX/xvpi8o<;, evTO<; Se tov 
t ei^oo? oXiyov eerrlv vSmp ev fypeaoi, Kal tovto 
8ie$6app£vov Kal iravTeXas rp yevaei iriKpov. 

8 KarcpKiae S’ avToiii ei? ravTqv ttjv xmpav, 07re»? 
yttj^re toi)? e£ ap%»?? eirmqBevOevTWi piovs Biutt)- 
povv Te? XvfialvwvTai toi)? ^.rjBev aSi/eowTa?, p-qre 
Kara t a? irpo? toi)? aXXou? eVi/u^ia? ayvoov- 

9 /ievoi Xavddvuxnv. dXX’ op,(u? expKpevTes el<s 
X^opav epr/fiov Kal TravTcov cr%eSoi> t< 3 i> XPV (T ^l Jia,v 
airopov etrev6r)<rav j3lov olxelov t»)? 7repl a&Tou? 
evSeiai, dvayKa£ovo~r)<; ttj? <£ucre&)? 7rpo? tt)i< 

1 Aapivros Dindorf: Xa/SArei. 

* ipitpov D, Bekker, Vogel: ipiqxov x^P as Vulgate, Dindorf, 

BOOK I. 6o. 2-9 

and most of the Egyptians revolted. As a conse- 
quence, since he was easily overcome, Egypt feli 
under the rule of the Ethiopians. But Actisanes 
carried his good fortune as a man should and con- 
ducted himsclf in a kindly manncr towards his 
subjects. For instance, he had his own manner of 
dealing with thieves, neither putting to death such 
as were liable to that punishment, nor letting them 
go with no punishment at all; for after he had 
gathered together out of the whole land those who 
were charged with some crime and had held a 
thoroughly fair examination of their cases, he took 
all who had been judged guilty, and, cutting off 
their noses, settled them in a colony on the edge 
of the desert, founding the city which was called 
Rhinocolura 1 after the lot of its inhabitants. 

This city, which lies on the border between Egypt 
and Syria not far from the sea-coast, is wanting in 
practically everything which is necessary for man’s 
existence; for it is surrounded by land which is full 
of brine, while within the walls there is but a small 
supply of water from wells, and this is impure and 
very bitter to the taste. But he settled them in 
this country in order that, in case they continued to 
practise their original manner of life, they might 
not prey upon innocent people, and also that they 
might not pass unrecognized as they mingled with 
the rest of mankind. And yet, despite the fact 
that they had been cast out into a desert country 
which lacked practically every useful thing, they 
contrived a way of living appropriate to the dearth 
about them, since nature forced them to devise 

1 ».«. Noee-clipped. 



airopiav trdvTa fir^yavaadai. KaXaprjv yclp /cel- 
povres sk t rjs dpdpov x“>pas, /eat Tavrrjv ayi- 
fovre?, Xiva trapaprj/cT) Kcneatceva^ov, raura Se 
irapa t ov alyiaXov brl iroXXovs araSlovs 
IcTaVTes t as drjpas t 5>v oprvycov eiroiovvTO' 
(pipovTcu ydp ovtoi kclt ayeXas pel^ovas e/c tov 
TreXayovs’ ovs OtjpevovTes fjdpot^ov irXrjOos l/cavbv 
eis Siarpo(f>i]v eavTols- 

61. Tot) Se ffacnXews tovtov TeXevTijcrav to? 
ave/CTrjaamo ttjv dpyrjv Aiyvtnioi, /cai /caTeaTrj- 
aav ey^cuptov fiaaiXea MevSrjv, ov rives M appov 
7r poaovopa^ovaiv, ovtos Se troXepiKTjv pev irpa- 
giv ovS ’ tjvtivovv iirereXeaaTO, racj/ov S’ al/Tw 
Kareaaevaae tov ovopa^opevov XafivptvOov, ov% 
ovtco /cara to peyeffos t&v epytov Oavpacnbv <b? 
irpos tt)v tjnXoTexviav Svaplprjrov’ 6 yclp elaeX- 
ddov eis avTov ov Svvarai paSlcas ttjv eljoSov 
evpeiv, eav prj tv%t} tivos oSrjyov iravreX&s 
eptrelpov. tpacrl Se Tives /cai tov AaiSaXov eis 
A XyvTTTOv TrapafiaXovTa tcai Qavpdaavra ttjv iv 
tois epyois Texvyv Karaa/cevdaai tS> fiaaiXevovTi 
t rjs KptjTtjs M Ivcp XafivpivOov opoiov t< p /car 
Aiyvtmov, iv w yeveadat pvdoXoyovai tov 
Xeyopevov Mivwravpov. aXX' 6 pev «ara ttjv 
KpijTTjv rjfyavladrj TeXetos, etre SvvacrTov tivos 
KaTaaKa^ravTOs etre tov xpovov rovpyov Xvprj- 
vapevov’ 6 Se kclt AtyviCTov d/cepaiov ttjv 
oXtjv /caraaKevrjv TeTijprj/ce pexpi tov /cad’ rjpas 

62. Merd Se ttjv tov fiaaiXea j? tovtov tcXcvttjv 
eVt yeveds treme yevopevrjs avapxjtas t&v aSo^cov 

BOOK I. 6o. 9-62. 1 

every possible means to combat their destitution. 
For instance, by cutting down reeds in the neighbour- 
hood and splitting them, they made long nets, which 
they set up along the beach for a distance of many 
stades and hunted quails; for these are driven in 
large coveys from the open sea, and in hunting them 
they caught a sufficient number to provide themselves 
with food. 

61. After the death of this king the Egyptians 
regained the control of their govemment and placed 
on the throne a native king, Mendes, whom some call 
Marrus. So far as war is concerned this ruler did not 
accomplish anything at all, but he did build himself a 
tomb known as the Labyrinth, 1 which was not so 
remarkable for.its size as it was impossible to imitate 
in respect to its ingenious design; for a man who 
enters it cannot easily find his way out, unless he gets 
a guide who is thoroughly acquainted with the 
structure. And some say that Daedalus, visiting 
Egypt and admiring the skill shown in the building, 
also constructed for Minos, the king of Crete, a 
labyrinth like the one in Egypt, in which was kept, as 
the myth relates, the beast called Minotaur. How- 
ever, the labyrinth in Crete has entirely disappeared, 
whether it be that some ruler razed it to the ground 
or that time effaced the work, but the one in Egypt 
has stood intact in its entire structure down to our 

62. After the death of this king there were no 
rulers for five generations, and then a man of obscure 

1 This building is described in chap. 66. The classical 
authors did not agree on the name of its builder and the 
Mendes or Marrus of Diodorus is otherwise entirely unknown 
(op. A. Wiedemann, AgyptUche Geschichtc, p. 259). 



rts ypedy fiaaiXevs, ov AiyvirTtoi pev ovopd^ovat 
KeTTjva, irapa Se rots "EXXtjmv elvai Soxel 
Upcorevs 6 /cara tov 'IXtaxov yeyov&s iroXepov. 

2 tovtov Se TTapa.SeSop.evov t&v Te irvevpaTcov eyeiv 
epiretptav Kal rf)v popfyyv peraftdXXeiv ore pev 
ei<; %cpa>v tvttovs, ore Se eis SevSpov fj irvp rj ti 
t&v aXXcov, opoXoyovpeva tovtois crvpfiaivet Kal 

3 tovs lepeis Xeyeiv irepl ainov. ex pev yap rys 
perci t&v atrrpoXoytov avpfti&aetos, yv eiroieiro 
avvex&s, epireipiav eaxyxevat tov fiaaiXea t&v 
toiovtcov, ex Se tov vopipov tov irapaSeSopevov 
rots /3a<riXev<ri to irepl ras perafioXas tt)s lSea<; 

4 pvOoXoyrjdfjvat irapa Tot? ev edet 

yap elvai Tot? xar Aiyvmov SvvdcrTavi irepni- 
decrdat irepl ryv xecpaXrjv Xeovrcov xal ravpcov 
xal SpaxoVTCov irporopas, trypeia rrjt dpxr}<i‘ xal 
irore pev SevSpa, irore Se irvp, eort S' ore xal 
OvptapaTcov evcoS&v ex etv fVt tt}<; xe<f>aXr}<; ovx 
oXtya, xal Sta tovtcov apa pev eavrov<i et<s 
evirpeiretav xoapelv, apa Se tov<: aXXov<s et? 
xaTdirXrjgtv ayetv xal SetaiSaipova Stadeatv. 

5 MeTa Se ryv Yl pareto'i reXevryv Siabegdpevos 
rt)v ftaotXeiav 6 vio<; 'P ep<f>i<; SiereXeoe irdvra 
tov tov £rjv XP° V0V eirtpeXopevof t&v irpoaoStov 
xal atopevcov iravraxodev tov itXovtov, Sia Se 
ptxpoyjrvxiav xal <piXapyvpiav f) 9 ov<; ovre et? 
avadypara de&v ovr eis evepyeaiav avdp&ircov 

1 Diodorus in his account of Proteus follows Herodotus 

(2. 112 ff.), who, it has been suggested, may have confused 
an Egyptian title, Prouti, with the familiar “ Proteus ” (cp. 
How and Wells, A Commentari/ on Herodotus, I. p. 223). Cetes, 
apparently, cannot be identified with any Egyptian ruler. 


BOOK I. 62. 1-5 

origin was chosen king, whom the Egyptians call 
Cetes, but who among the Greeks is thought to be 
that Proteus 1 who lived at the time of the war about 
Ilium. Some tradition records that this Proteus was 
experienced in the knowledge of the winds and that 
he would change his body, sometimes into the form 
of different animals, sometimes into a tree or fire or 
something else, and it so happens that the account 
which the priests give of Cetes is in agreement with 
that tradition. For, according to the priests, from 
the close association which the king constantly main- 
tained with the astrologers, he had gained experience 
in such matters, and from a custom which has been 
passed down among the kings of Egypt has arisen the 
myths current among the Greeks about the way 
Proteus changed his shape. For it was a practice 
among the rulers of Egypt to wear upon their heads 
the forepart of a lion, or bull, or snake as symbols of 
their rule; at times also trees or fire, and in some 
cases they even carried on their heads large bunches 
of fragrant herbs for incense, these last serving to 
enhance their comeliness and at the same time to fili 
all other men with fear and religious awe. 2 

On the death of Proteus his son Remphis 3 suc- 
ceeded to the throne. This ruler spent his whole 
life looking after the revenues and amassing riches 
from every source, and because of his niggardly and 
miserly character spent nothing either on votive 
offerings to the gods or on benefactions to the inhabi- 

3 On some of these insignia cp. J. H. Breasted, History of 
Egypt, p. 38; the snake was the Symbol of the Northern 
Kingdom, the sacred uraeus. 

* Ramses III, the Rhampsinitus in connection with whom 
Herodotus (2. 121) recounts the famous tale of the thieves. 

2I 3 


6 ovSev dvrfkwrre. Sio tcai yevopevo<; ov ftaaiXei»; 
ott’ olKovopot dya6o<; avrl rrjs iir aperf} So^rj<; 
direXiire TrXetoTa XPVP LaTa twv irpo avrov {3aai- 
Xevcrav twv dpyvpov 1 yap Kal xpvaov 2 irapa- 
SeSoTai avvayayeiv avTov et? TeTTapaKOVTa 
pvpidSa? TaXavTwv. 

63. Tovtov Si TeXevTrjiravTO’! iirl yeved<: i-irra 
SieSegavTO t rjv dpxpv $aaiXel<; dpyol 7ravTeXwi 
Kal 7T/?o? ave er iv Kal rpvcppv airavra irpaTTOvTet. 
Sioirep iv t at? iepai<: avaypafyah ovSev avTwv 
epyov 7r oXvTeXes ovSe 7rpafi? tVropta? dfta 
irapaSiSoTcu irXrjv ei 'o? NetXew?, dtf>’ ov avpftaivei 
tov TTOTapov ovopaadrjvai 3 NetXov, t o 7rpo toO 
KaXovpevov Aiyvmov o5ro? Se -nXeima^ evtcaL- 
pow; Stwpo%a? KcnacncevatTas Kal iroXXa irepl ttjv 
evxprjaTiav tov NetXoi; cj>iXoTipT)0el<s aiTio<s 
Karearr] tw iroTapw t avrryi Tfji tt poapyopiai. 

2 v O7S00? Se yS acnXev<; yevopevos Xeppi<; 6 Me/t- 
<f>iTT)<; r)p%e pev st rj TTevTrjKoma, Karetncevatre Se 
rrjv peyiaTTjv twv Tpiwv irvpaplSwv twv iv t ot? 
ima Tot? eiri^avemaTOi^ epyoi<; apidpovpevwv. 

3 avTai Se Keipevai /cara T^t< Aifivpv T17? M ep<f>ew<s 
dirixovtn maSLov<; i/caTov Kal eiKoai, tov Se 
NetXou irivre irpos rot? TemapaKOVTa, tw Se 
peyeOei twv epywv Kal tt) kuto, ttjv x^P ov Pl' iav 
T *X l 'V 4 QavpaaTrjV t iva KaTairXrj^iv irapexovTai 

4 Tot? 6ewpivoi<i. rj pev yap peyitnrj TeTpdirXevpos 

1 ipyvplov D, Bekker, Dindorf. 

* xpixrfou Bekker, Dindorf. 

* ovopaaBnval AB D, Bekker, Vogel: SiyopiiaBai Vulgate, 

1 80 Reiske : TfX^V” X’ l l> ov Pyh‘ 


BOOK I. 62. 5-63. 4 

tants. Consequently, since he had been not so much 
a king as only an efficient steward, in the place of a 
fame based upon virtue he left a treasure larger than 
that of any king before him; for according to tradi- 
tion he amassed some four hundred thousand talents 
of silver and gold. 

63. After Remphis died, kings succeeded to the 
throne for seven generations who were confirmed 
sluggards and devoted only to indulgence and 
luxury. Consequently, in the priestly records, no 
costly building of theirs nor any deed worthy of 
historical record is handed down in connection with 
them, except in the case of one ruler, Nileus, from 
whom the river came to be named the Nile, though 
formerly called Aegyptus. This ruler constructed 
a very great number of canals at opportune places 
and in many ways showed himself eager to increase 
the usefulness of the Nile, and therefore became the 
cause of the present appellation of the river. 

The eighth king, Chemmis 1 of Memphis, ruled 
fifty years and constructed the largest of the three 
pyramids, which are numbered among the seven 
wonders of the world. These pyramids, which are 
situated on the side of Egypt which is towards Libya, 
are one hundred and twenty stades from Memphis 
and forty-five from the Nile, and by the immensity 
of their structures and the skill shown in their execu- 
tion they fili the beholder with wonder and astonish- 
ment. For the largest is in the form of a square and 

1 Chemmis is the Cheops of Herodotus (2. 124), the Khufu 
of the monuments. Diodorus makes the same mistake as 
Herodotus in putting the pyramid-builders of the Fourth 
Dynasty (c. 3000 B.o.) after Bamses III of the Twentieth 
Dynasty (c. 1200 B.o.). 



ovaa tS> crx>jfj.aTi ttjv enl ttjs ftaaeus nXevpdv 
e/cdcrTTjv e%ei nXeOpcov eirrii, t o S’ vafros nXeov 
t S>v e£ nXeOpwv avvaytoyTjv S’ e/c tov /car 
oXiyov Xapftdvovaa pexpi rrjs /copv(j>r}<; e/cdcTTrjv 

5 nXevpdv noiel tttjxuv eg. nacra Se arepeov 

XiOov /caTetr/cevaaTai, ttjv pev epyaalav cxovtos 
Svaxepfj, ttjv Se SiapovTjv alcbviov ov/c eXaTTovwv 
yap Tj errbv, «? (jraat, SieXrjXvdoTcov eis 

tov /cad’ rjpas fiiov, d>s be evioi ypa<f>ovcn , irXeio- 
vcov rj TpitrxiXlwv /cal TeTpa/coaicov, Stapevovcri 
peXP 1 tov vvv ol XiOoi ttjv eg apXTjs avvOeaiv /cal 
ttjv oXtjv /caTacr/cevTjv aaTjnTov Sia<f>vXaTTOVTes- 

6 XeyeTCu Se tov pev Xidov e/c ttjs 'Apa/3ias ano 
noXXov SiaaTrjpaTos /copiaPrjvai, ttjv Se /cara- 
a/cevTjv Sia x^paTcov yeveaOai, prjnw twv prjxavwv 

7 evprjpevrav kot e/ceivovs tovs XP° V0V< '' Kal T ° 
OavpaaiwTaTov, ttjXikovtwv epycov /caTea/cevacr- 
pevwv /cal tov nepiexovTOS Tonov navTOs appco- 
Sovs ovtos oi/Sev ixvos ovTe tov SpaTOs ovTe 
ttjs t5>v XiBwv gecnovpyias dnoXeineaflai, 1 &<ne 
So/ceTv ptj /caT oXiyov vn avOpconcov epyaaias, 
aXXa (rvXXtjftSrjv wanep vn o deov ti vos to /caTa- 
a/cevaopa TePrjvai nav eis ttjv nepie'xovaav dppov. 

8 inix^ipovai Se Tives t5>v Alyvmicov TepaToXoyeiv 
vnep tovtcov, XeyovTes d>s ef ciXa/v /cal vtTpov twv 
XcopaTtov yeyovoTtov enaejredels 6 noTapos eTrjt-ev 
aiiTa /cal navTeXtbs tjcfadviaev avev ttjs %«/5 ot toitj- 

9 tov npaypareias- ov pijv /cal toXtj06s ovtcos 

1 airoAffefrai II, Bekker, Dindorf. 

2 16 

BOOK I. 63. 4-9 

has a base length on each side of seven plethra and a 
height of over six plethra; it also gradually tapers 
to the top, where each side is six cubits long. 1 The 
entire construction is of hard stone, which is difficult 
to work but lasts for ever; for though no fewer than 
a thousand years have elapsed, as they say, to our 
lifetime, or, as some writers have it, more than three 
thousand four hundred, the stones remain to this day 
stili preserving their original position and the entire 
structure undecayed. It is said that the stone was 
conveyed over a great distance from Arabia 2 and 
that the construction was effected by means of 
mounds, since cranes had not yet been invented at 
that time; and the most remarkable thing in the 
account is that, though the constructions were on 
such a great scale and the country round about them 
consists of nothing but sand, not a trace remains 
either of any mound or of the dressing of the stones, 
so that they do not have the appearance of being the 
slow handiwork of men but look like a sudden crea- 
tion, as though they had been made by some god and 
set down bodily in the surrounding sand. Certain 
Egyptians would make a marvel out of these things, 
saying that, inasmuch as the mounds were built of 
salt and saltpetre, when the river was let in it melted 
them down and completely effaced them without the 
intervention of mans hand. However, there is not a 

1 Including the facing, which has now almost entirely 
disappeared, the Great Pyramid was originally about 768 
feet broad on the base and 482 feet high. 

a The term “Arabia” also designated the region lying 
between the Nile and the Red Sea, as in Herodotus (2. 8) and 
Strabo (17. 1. 34). Apparently ali the material for the Great 
Pyramid came from the immediate neighbourhood (cp. 
Baedeker’i Egypt, pp. 124-5). 



6^et, Sia Se Trjt nroXvxeipLa: rfjs Tei ^ta/tara 
/3a\ova7]<; nrdXiv to irav epyov ei: tt)v nrpovnrdp- 
Xovaav dnroKaTeaTadrj Tafjiv TpuiKOVTa pev 
yap Kal efj pvpidSe: dvSpwv, w 9 <ftaai , Tai: twv 
epywv XeiTOVpyiai 9 77 -poa^Spevaav, to Se nrav 
Karacncevaapa TeXo: ecr^e /10719 eVar etKoai 

64. T eXevTr/aavTo: Se rov /SaaiXew: tovtov 
SieSegaro rr/v d.pXV v ° aSeXtpo: Ketpprjv Kal fjpgev 
errj if nrpixs toi: nrevT^KOVTa' evioi Se <f>acnv ovk 
aSeXtftov, aXX’ viov nrapaXafteiv tt]v dpxv v > 

2 ovopa^opevov Xaftpvrjv. avptftwveiTai Se nrapa 
nraaiv oti %qXwaa: 6 SiaSegdpevo: ttjv rov irpo- 
ftaaiXevaavro: nrpoaipeaiv KareerKevaoe rr/v 
Sevrepav nrvpapiSa, tt) pev Kara ttjv xeipovpyiav 
rexvp 1 nrapanrXrjaiav rfj nrpoeiprjpevrj, tw Se 
peyedei iroXii Xeinropevrjv, tu9 av Trj: ev tt} /3doei 

3 7 T Xevpa: eKdaTrjt; ovat]: araSiaia:. enriyeypanrTai 
S> en tl ttj: pei^ovo: to nrXrjOo: twv dvaXwOevTWv 
XpypaTaiv, a >9 ei? Xdxava Kal crvppaLav tol 9 
epyaTai: prjvveTai 2 Sta Ttj: ypatprj: TaXavra 
Sebanravr/adai nrXeiw twv ^tXttuv Kal e^axoaiwv. 

4 r) S’ eXarrwv dvenriypa<f>o: pev eaTiv, dvdfiaaiv 
S’ exei Sia pia: twv nrXevpwv eyKeKoXappevrjv. 
twv Se ftacnXewv twv KaraaKevacrdvTWv aiiTa: 
eavTol: Taiftov: avvefir) pr/SeTepov avTWv Tat? 

5 nrvpaplaiv evTa(f>r}vai' Taydp vXt} 8 ij SiaTe TaXai- 
nrwplav ttjv ev to t? epyoi: Kal Sta to tovtov: tov: 
fiaatXei: wpa Kal /Stata 7 ro\\d nrpa^ai Si 
opyrj: elxe tov: ainov 9, Kal Ta awpaTa rjnreiXei 

1 So Reiske : TexfO* X^paupryta. 

* firfvvfTai Vogel: Kal /o)i^f T ot C, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 63. 9-64. 5 

word of truth in this, but the entire material for the 
mounds, raised as they were by the labour of many 
hands, was returned by the same means to the place 
from which it came; for three hundred and sixty 
thousand men, as they say, were employed on the 
undertaking, and the whole structure was scarcely 
completed in twenty years. 1 

64. Upon the death of this king his brother 
Cephren 2 succeeded to the throne and ruled fifty- 
six years; but some say that it was not the brother 
of Chemmis, but his son, named Chabryes, who took 
the throne. Ali writers, however, agree that it was 
the next ruler who, emulating the example of his 
predccessor, built the second pyramid, which was the 
equal of the one just mentioned in the skill displayed 
in its execution but far behind it in size, since its base 
length on each side is only a stade. 3 And an inscrip- 
tion on the larger pyramid gives the sum of money 
expended on it, since the writing sets forth that on 
vegetables and purgatives for the workmen there were 
paid out over sixteen hundred talents. The smaller 
bears no inscription but has steps cut into one side. 
And though the two kings built the pyramids to 
serve as their tombs, in the event neither of them was 
buried in them; for the multitudes, because of the 
hardships which they had endured in the building of 
them and the many cruel and violent acts of these 
kings, were filled with anger against those who had 
caused their sufferings and openly threatened to tear 

1 The classic description of the building of the pyramids 
is in Herodotus 2. 124-5. 

2 The Chephren of Herodotus (2. 127), Khafre of the 

* i.e. six plethra, while the former was seven. 



Siaonacreiv xal ped' vfipeco? expisjreiv ex tSsv 

6 t acposv Sio xal TeXevrcbv exaTepo? eveTeiXaTO 
t oi? tt poarjxovaiv ev aarjpca tottos xal XaOpa 
Bdsjrai t o acopa. 

Mera Se tovtov? eyeveTO fiacriXeii? Mvxeptvo?, 
ov rive? M eyxeptvov ovopa^ovaiv, vio<t asv tov 

7 TroisjaavTo? t r)V trpoiepav irvpapiSa. ovto? S’ 
eTrifiaXopevo? TpiTtjv xaracr xevd^eiv, irporepov 
ereXevTTjcre irplv rj t o i rav epyov Xafieiv ervvre- 
Xeiav. ts)? pev ydp fiderem? exdarijv rrXevpav 
vireaTrjaaTO irXeBpasv rpiasv, t ov? Se t ofyov? em 
pev irevTexalSexa Sopov? xareaxevaaev ex peXavo? 
XiBov to) &rjfiaixa> TrapaTrXrjalov, to Se Xoittov 
aveirXijpascrev ex Xideov opoiasv Tai? aXXai? irvpa- 

8 plaiv. t a> Se peyeOei Xeiiropevov tovto to epyov 
tSsv trpoeiprjpevasv rfj xard ttjv xeipovpyiav Te^vj] 
7 ToXi) SiaXXaTTei xal tt) t ov Xidov 7 ToXvreXeia' 
emyeypaTTTai Se xara t r)v fiopeiov aiiTrj? irXevpav 

9 o xaraoxevaoa? avTrjv M vxepivo?. tovtov Se 
<f>acrt piasjaavra ttjv t asv TrpofiaaiXevadvroiv 
aspoTTjTa f TjXmcrai fiiov emeixrj xal nrpo? t ov? 
dpxopevov? evepyeTixov, «ai iroielv ainov rwfps 
aXXa Te irXeico Si’ asv rjv pd\ioTa exxaXeoaoOai 
Ttjv t ov vXs)6ov? irpo? avTov evvoiav, xal xaTa 
tov? XPVf iaTla f J ' 0 ^ ,i dvaXLaxeiv XPVH- ,IT0)V TrXrjBo?, 
SiSovTa Saspea? tSsv emeixasv toi? Soxovmv ev 
Tai? xpiaeai prj xara Tporrov dicaXXaTTeiv. 

10 EiVi Se xal aXXai t pel? iriipapiSe?, asv excient) 
pev irXevpa irXeBpiaia virdpxei, to S' oXov epyov 

1 The remains, such as “ massive blocks of gTanite, placed 
in position after the interment of the mummy to protect the 

BOOK I. 64. 5-10 

their bodies asunder and cast them in despite out of 
the tombs. Consequently each ruler wlien dying 
enjoined upon his kinsmen to bury his body secretly 
in an unmarked place. 1 

After these rulers Mycerinus, 2 to whom some give 
the name Mencherinus, a son of the builder of the 
first pyramid, became king. He undertook the 
construction of a tliird pyramid, but died before the 
entire structure liad been completed. The base 
length of each side he made three plethra, and for 
fifteen courses he built the walls of black stone 3 like 
that found about Thebes, but the rest of it he filled 
out with stone like that found in the other pyramids. 
In size this structure falis behiud those mentioned 
above, but far surpasses them in the skill displayed 
in its exeeution and the great cost of the stone; and 
on the north side of the pyramid is an inscription 
stating that its builder was Mycerinus. This ruler, 
they say, out of indignation at the cruelty of his 
predecessors aspired to Uve an honourable life and 
one devoted to the welfare of his subjects; and he 
continually did many other things which might best 
help to evoke the goodwill of the people towards 
himself, and more especially, when he gave audiences, 
he spent a great amount of money, giving presents to 
such honest men as he thought had not fared in the 
courts of law as they deserved. 

There are also three more pyramids, each of which 
is one plethrum long on each side and in general 
gTave from rohbers ,” and other eonsiderations ali show that 
this cannot have been the case (cp. Baedeker’s £gypt, pp. 
123, 126). 

2 The Menkaure of the monuments. 

3 Thelower courses of the third pyramid are of red gTanite, 
the “ Ethiopian stone ” of Herodotus 2. 134. 


irapaifKrjcnov t jj Karaa/ceur} Tat? aXXat? ttXtjv tov 
fieyeOovr Taura? Se </>aai tov? irpoeipr)p.evov<: 
rpelg ^aatXet? rat? tSlai ? Karaaicevnaai yvvaiQn. 

11 'OpoXoyelrai Se xavxa xa ep^a 7roXv irpoe^eiv 
twv icaT AiyvrrTOv ov povov tw /Sapet twv Kara- 
aKevaapdrcov xal xat? Sairavait, aXXa /cal xp 

12 «/uXoxe^vta twv ipya.aap.kvwv. /cal <f>aai Selv 
davpd^eiv paXkov tov? apxtTe/CTOvas twv epywv 
V xov? $a<rtXet? tov? irapaayop.kvov<; xa? et? 
xavxa yppr\yia'i' xov<? pev 7ap Tat? tStat? ^v%a/? 
/cai xat? ^ttXoxt/ttat?, xov? Se xp KXrjpovoprjOevTi 
ttXovtw /cal xat? dXXoT/oiat? Ka/cov^iais eVt xeXo? 

13 ayayelv ttjv irpoatpeaiv . 7rept Se xwv irvpapi,iSwv 
oitlev oXw? ovxe irapa xot? eY^wptot? ovt€ irapti 
xot? avyypacpevai av/t^wvetxaf ol p.ev yap xov? 
irpoeipijpevovi /SaatXet? Karaaicevaaai tftaalv 
avxa?, ol Sk exepov? xtva?' olov x rjv pev 1 pe^t- 
arrjv Troirjaai Xeyovaiv 'Appalov, tt/v Se Sevxepav 

14 “A/twcrtv, t?)v Se xptx^v ’Ivapwv. Tavrrjv S' 
evioi Xeyovai PoSw7rtSo? Tatpov elvai tj)? exatpa?, 
^7? <j>aai twv vopapywv xtva? epao-xa? 7evo/tevov? 
Sta (fnXoaropylav iiriTeXeaai koivtj to /eaxa- 

65. Mexd Se tov? 7rpoeipr)p.kvov<; /Sao-tXet? 

1 /tiv omitted by Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 

1 As regards Rhodopis the theory of H. R. Hali ( Journal ot 

Hellenic Studies, 24 (1904), pp. 208-13) is attractive: The 
Sphinx, the cheeks of which were tinted red, was called by the 

Greeks “ Rhodopis ” (“ rosy-cheeked ”), and erroneously sup- 
posed to be female. Later they togk it to be a portrait of 
the greatest Rhodopis they knew, the rosy-cheeked Doricha 
(although Athenaeus, 13. 696 B, denies that her name was 
Doricha), the famous courtesan of the Milesian colony of 

BOOK I. 64. 10-65. 1 

construction is like the others save in size ; and these 
pyramids, they say, were built by the three kings 
named above for their wives. 

It is generally agreed that these monuments far 
surpass all other constructions in Egypt, not only in 
their massiveness and cost but also in the skill dis- 
played by their builders. And they say that the 
architects of the monuments are more deserving of 
admiration than the kings who furnished the means 
for their execution; for in bringing their pians to 
completion the former called upon their individual 
souls and their zeal for honour, but the latter only used 
the wealth which they had inherited and the grievous 
toil of other men. But with regard to the pyramids 
there is no complete agreement among either the 
inhabitants of the country or the historians; for 
according to some the kings mentioned above were 
their builders, according to others they were different 
kings; for instance, it is said that Armaeus built the 
largest, Amosis the second, and Inaros the third. 
And this last pyramid, some say, is the tomb of the 
courtesan Rhodopis, 1 for some of the nomarchs 2 
became her lovers, as the account goes, and out of 
their passion for her carried the building through to 
completion as a joint undertaking. 

65. After the kings mentioned above Bocchoris 3 

Naucratis in the Delta (cp. Herodotus 2. 134 ff.). The in- 
fatuation for her of Sappho’s brother Charaxus invoked 
Sappho’s rebuke; cp. Edmonds, Lyra Graeca, I. p. 206 

* The governors of the provinces (nomes) of Egypt. 

* On Bocchoris cp. chaps. 79 and 94. His Egyptian name 
was Bokenranef (c. 726— c. 712 B . c .), the second of the two 
kings of the Twenty-fourth Dynasty (cp. The Cambridge 
Ancient HUtory, 3. 276 f.). 



SieSegaro ttjv apxrjv B oK^opn, rw pev crwpan 
TravTeXm evKaracfcpovTjTOs, ayxivoia Se ttoXv 

2 Siafyepwv rwv 7 rpoftaaiXevadvrwv. 7toXXol<; S’ 
varepov xpovois eftaaiXevae rrjt; AiyvTrrou 1a- 
fidicwv, ro pev yevo<s wv AWio^r, evaefieia Se /cal 
Xpi1<TTOTr)Ti 7 toXv Siaipepwv rwv n rpo avrov. 

3 rrj<; pev ovv emei/ceias avrov Xdfioi n ? av re/cpr}- 
piov to rS>v vop.Lp.wv rrpoarlpwv apai to peyiarov, 

4 Xeyw Se tt)V rov £i)V areprjoiv dvrl yap rov 
davdrov 1 Toi>? KaraSiKaadevras rjvdytca^e Xei- 
rovpyeiv Tat? rroXeoi SeSepevovs, /cal Sia rovrwv 
rroXXd pe v x^pa.ra /carea/ceva^ev, ov/c oXlyat Se 
Siwpvyas wpvrrev ev/caipovr vrreXdpftave yap 
Tot? pev /coXa£opevots to tt)? ripwpias drroropov 
rjXarrw/cevai, rai ? Se rroXeaiv dvrl rrpoaripwv 
avw<j>eXwv peydXpv evxprjoriav rrepiTrerroirjKevai. 2 

5 ri)v Se t?;? etae/Seia? virepfioXyv ovXXoyioair' 
av Tt? e/e tt)? /cara rov oveipov cf>avraaia<; /eat 

6 t?;? /cara rrjv dpxpv arrodeaeox;. eSofe pev yap 
/cara rov vttvov Xeyeiv avrw rov ev ®pffai<; deov 
OTt ftaoiXeveiv ov Svvtjaerai r f}<; Alyvrrrov 
pa/capiw? ovSe ttoXvv XP°vov, eav ptj tow? tepet? 
diravra<; Siarepwv Sia peawv avrwv SieXdy pera 

7 T?/? Oepaireia ?. 7roWa/et? Se rovrov yivopevov 
pera-TTep-tydpevos rravraxbdev rov<t lepeis e<f>t) 
XvttcTv rov deov ev rfj ^topa pevwv ov yap av 

1 BavaTovv Dindorf. 

* irciroiTj/ccVai Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 

1 Shabaka (c. 712— e. 700 B.o.), the first king of the Twentv- 
fifth Dynasty. 


BOOK I. 65. 1-7 

succeeded to the throne, a man who was altogether 
contemptible in personal appearance but in sagacity 
far surpassed all former kings. Much later Egypt 
was rulcd by Sabaeo, 1 who was by birth an Ethiopian 
and yet in piety and uprightness far surpassed his 
predecessors. A proof of his goodness may be found 
in his abolition of the severest one of the customary 
penalties (I refer to the taking of life); for instead 
of exeeuting the condemned he put them in chains at 
forced labour for the cities, and by their Services 
constructed many dykes and dug out not a few well- 
placed canals; for he held that in this way he had 
reduced for those who were being chastised the 
severity of their punishment, while for the cities he 
had procured, in exchange for useless penalties, 
something of great utility. And the excessiveness 
of his piety may be inferred from a Vision which he 
had in a dream and his consequent abdication of the 
throne. For he thought that the god of Thebes 
told him while he slept that he would not be able to 
reign over Egypt in happiness or for any great length 
of time, unless he should cut the bodies of all the 
priests in twain and accompanied by his retinue pass 
through the very midst of them. 2 And when this 
dream came again and again, he summoned the 
priests from all over the land and told them that by 
his presence in the country he was offending the god; 

2 This story is reminiscent of the belief that one may be 
preserved from harm by passing between the parts of a 
sacrificed animal; cp. Genesis, 15.10,17; Jeremiah, 34. 18-19, 
and the account in Herodotus (7. 39) of the son of Pythius, 
whose body was cut in two and one half set on the rigbt side 
of the road and the other on the left, that the Persian army 
might pass between them on its way to the conquest of 



avT<p ToiavTa ir pooTUTTeiv Karh tov vttvov. 

8 aireXd&v ovv ftovXeaOat, KaOapo? iravTO? pvaov? 
airohovvai to £ijv Tjj Txenrpatpevp paXXov rj Xv-rr&v 
tov Kvpvov kcu pidva? aae/ 3 el tftovco tov IStov 
fitov apx^tv 7*779 AiyvTTTov /caX nrepas 7*0/9 iyX°f~ 
ptoi 9 diroSov 9 Ttjv / 3 aaiXetav itravrjXdev «9 7*171/ 

66 . 'Avapxia<s Se yevopivtj? K<na ttjv A /71/71*7*01/ 
67r’ €Ti) Svo, Kai t&v o^Xav el<s Tapaxa<! Kal 
< ftovovt ? ipeftvXiov? TpeTropLevfov, itroirjaavTO avvto- 
poatav oi //67/0*7*0/ t&v r/yepoveov ScbSeKa' trvve- 
SpevaavTe? Se kv Mipfftet, /eat avvdtjKa? ypa\jra- 
pevoi irepl Ttj? irpo? dXXtjXov? opxtvoia? «al 

2 7rta*T6&)9 aviSei^av iavTov? fiaoiXel?. eir en/ 
Se 7 rei/re/ea/Se/ca /cara roi »9 opKov? Kal Ta? 
07/0X07109 aptjavTe? Kal ttjv Trpo? dXXtjXov 9 
6 p. 6 vot.av 5 KZT77/3770*01/7*69, iireftdXovTO KaTaaKeva- 
aai KOivov iavT&v Tatftov, iva Kaddirep iv t& %rjv 
evvoovvre 9 aXXtjXoi? t&v itreov eTvyx avov Ttp&v, 
ouTw «at //era Ttjv TeXevTtjv iv ivi 7*071*01 t&v 
acopaTcov Kupivwv to KaTacrKevaaOev pvfjpa Koivy 

3 irepUxy T V V T & v ivTa<f>evTCOv Sogav. et? Tavrtjv 
Se 7*171/ iirifSoXtjv (ftiXoKaXovvTe 9 eairevaav Inrep- 
fiaXiadai t& peyedei t&v epymv dtravra? tov 9 7rpo 
avr&v. e’«Xe£d//ei/o/ yap tottov trapa tov elcnrXovv 
tov e/9 ttjv Mo/p/So9 1 Xtpvrjv iv Tjj Aifivrj «are- 
a*/cei/a£b v tov Tatftov iK t&v KaXXioTwv XtOtov, Kal 
Ttp pev <TXVf iaTl TeTpdymvov VTretTTrjaavro, t& 
Se peyedei OTaSialav eKaaTrjv irXevpav, Tai 9 Se 
yXvtftal 9 «at T019 aXXai 9 x eL P 0 V P'i LaL ' ; vtrepfioXtjv 

1 MoipiSo» Wesseling : 711/7)180». 


BOOK I. 65. 7-66. 3 

for were that not the case such a command would 
not be given to him in his sleep. And so he would 
rather, he continued, departing pure of all defilement 
from the land, deliver his life to destiny than offcnd 
the Lord, stain his own life by an impious slaughter, 
and reign over Egypt. And in the end he retumed 
the kingdom to the Egyptians and retired again to 

66. There being no head of the govemment in 
Egypt for two years, and the masses betaking them- 
selves to tumults and the killing of one another, 
the twelve most important leaders formed a solemn 
league among themselves, and after they had met 
together for counsel in Memphis and had drawn up 
agreements setting forth their mutual goodwill and 
loyalty they proclaimed themselves kings. After 
they had reigned in accordance with their oaths and 
promises and had maintained their mutual concord 
for a period of fifteen years, they set about to con¬ 
struet a common tomb for themselves, their thought 
being that, just as in their lifetime they had cherished 
a cordial regard for one another and enjoyed equal 
honours, so also after their death their bodies would 
all rest in one place and the memorial which they had 
erected would hold in one embrace the glory of those 
buried within. Being full of zeal for this undertaking 
they eagerly strove to surpass all preceding rulers in 
the magnitude of their structure. For selecting a 
site at the entrance to Lake Moeris in Libya 1 they 
constructed their tomb of the finest stone, and they 
made it in form a square but in magnitude a stade in 
length on each side; and in the carvings and, indeed, 
in all the workmanship they left nothing wherein 
1 on the west side of the Nile. 



4 ovx direXtirov toli eirtytvopevoti. elaeXdovTi fiev 
yap tov irepifioXov otico ? rjv ireptaiuXoi, exdoTrj >? 
irXevpdi ex TeTTapd/covTa xtovcov avairXrjpov- 
pevrji, xat tovtov povoXtOoi fjv opocpi 7, tpaTvati 
StayeyXvppevrj icat ypacpatl Staipopoti ireirotxtX- 

5 pevrj. elx e T VS iraTpiSoi Ttji exacrrov t&v 
ftaatXecov virop.vrfp.aTa icat t&v iepav icat dvcncov 
t5>v ev avTf) t ah xaXXioTan ypatpah ipiXoTexvcoi 

6 SeSr/ptovpyrjpeva. xadoXov Se TOtavrrjv tt/ iroXv- 
t eXeta xal TrjXucavTrjv tco peyedet ttjv virocnacTtv 
tov Taipov XeyeTat irotrfaaaOat t ovi fiacrtXeh, 
8 ><tt et prf irpo tov crvvreXecrai ti)v eirtfioXrfv 
KcneXv8rjcrav, prjSeptav av virepftoXrjv er epoti 
irpoi xaiaaxevrfv epycov airoXtiretv. 

7 'AptdvTmv Se tovtcov tt}? Aiyvirrov irevTexat- 
Sexaerri ovvefir) tt)V jiaatXetav eh eva ireptcrTrjvai 

8 Stet Totaviai atTtai. WapprfTtxoi 6 lati-rji, eh 
&v t8>v SwSexa ftacriXewv icat tojv irapa OdXaTTav 
pepwv xvptevwv, irapetxeTo (popita t oli 
epiropon, pdXtcTTa Se toii Te 'boLvt^t xat toii 

9 "EXXtjoi. Sta Se 1 tolovtov Tpoirov t a Te ex 
t fji IStai ^eopa? XvcriTeXaii StaTtOepevoi icat tcov 
irapa t oli aXXoti edveat rf>vopeva>v peTaXapffdvav, 
ov povov eviropiav etx e peydXrjv aXXa xal cfnXlav 

10 irpoi edvrj xal SwaaTai. Slo, Se iavid (paci 
cpdovrfcravTai av to> tovi aXXovi fiacrtXeh iroXe~ 
/xov egeveyxetv. evtot Se twv apyaicov avyypa- 
<pea>v pvOoXoyovcrt XP^crpov yeveadat toli rfye- 
1 tov after Se deleted by Dindorf. 

1 This is the Labyrinth which waa mentioned before in chap. 
61. It was the seat of the Central govemment, and waa not 

built by the “ twclve kings,” but by Amenemhet III of the 


BOOK I. 66. 3-10 

succeeding rulers could excel them. 1 For as a man 
passed through the enclosing wall he found himself 
in a court surrounded by columns, forty on each side, 
and the roof of the court consisted of a single stone, 
which was worked into coffers 2 and adorned with 
excellent paintings. This court also contained 
memorials of the native district of each king and of the 
temples and sacrificial rites therein, artistically por- 
trayed in most beautiful paintings. And in general, 
the kings are said to have made the plan of tlieir 
tomb on such an expensive and enormous scale that, 
had they not died before the exeeution of their 
purpose, they would have left no possibility for others 
to surpass them, so far as the construction of monu- 
ments is concerned. 

After these kings had reigned over Egypt for 
fifteen years it came to pass that the sovereignty 
devolved upon one man for the following reasons. 
Psammetichus of Sais, who was one of the twelve 663-609 
kings and in charge of the regions lying along the B '°' 
sea, furnished wares for all merchants and especially 
for the Phoenicians and the Greeks; and since in 
this manner he disposed of the products of his own 
district at a profit and exchanged them for those of 
other peoples, he was not only possessed of great 
wealth but also enjoyed friendly relations with 
peoples and rulers. And this was the reason, they 
say, why the other kings became envious and opened 
war against him. Some of the early historians, 3 
however, teli this fanciful story: The generals had 

Twelfth Dynasty (cp. The Cambridge Ancient History, 1. p. 

309; J. H. Breasted, p. 194). 

* i.e. ornamental panels were deeply recessed in the stone. 

* The account is given by Herodotus 2. 151 f. 



poaiv, os av av t&v e/e ^aX/e^? <f>idXrjs irp&TOS 
iv M eptf>ei aireiar) T& 0e&, Kparrjaeiv avrov 
iracrris t rjs AlyvTTTOV tov Se 'i' apppTi-^ov, etjevey- 
/cavTOS ex tov lepov t&v lepecov rivos efuaXas 
evSe/ca 1 ^pvads, irepieXopevov ttjv rrepuceipaXalav 

11 aireioai. vmSopevovs 2 ovv tovs avvap^ovras to 
rrpaxOev dnoKreivai pev avrov pp / 3 ovXrjffijvai , 
(fyvyaSevcrai Se Kal tr poard^ai Starpifieiv ev tois 

12 eXeai t ois irapa daXarrav. e it e Sr/ Sia, ravrrjv 
Trjv alrlav eire Sia tov (j>66vov, Kaffon nrpoelprjrai, 
yevopevps Trjs Sia<f>opas, 6 pev 3 'VapppTiy^os e/e 
Te TrjS K a pias Kal t rjs 'liovlas piodotyopovs 
peTarreprjrdpevos evi/ctjcre rrapard^ei nepi iroXiv 
rrjv ovopa^opevpv M&pepcf>iv, t&v S' avriTa^a- 
pevmv ftaoiXecov ol pev /cara rrjv payr\v avype- 
Or/aav, ol S’ eis Ai/3vrjv e/eStw^ei/Te? ov/cen 
irepl T-rjs ap^ys la-^voav dpifiia^rjTrjaai. 

67. T^? 5’ oX-qs /3aatXelas /cvpieuaas 6 'Vap- 
p-rjTixos t& pev ev M ep<f>ei 6e& ro irpos eco 
trpoTrvXaiov /caTea/cevaoe /eat rp va& tov irepl- 
/3oXov, koXottovs vTrotTTpcras avri T&V KIOVWV 
ScoSeKairrj^eis’ tois Se ptaBo^opois t&v 

&poXoyrjpevmv <tvvt cLgecov Swpeds re dgioXoyovs 
direveipe Kal t a KaXovpeva arparorreSa tottov 
ot/eet v eScoKe Kal X&pav ttoXXtjv KareKXppov-yrjae 
piKpbv eiravw tov tirfXovcnaKov aroparos- ovs 
evrevdev "A patiis varepov iroXXois er eoi 0aa t- 

1 Reading frSt/ta <ta) with Herodotus 2. 151 for the 
SciSfxa (tff') ol the MSS. ; cp. E. Evers, Ein Beitrag zur 
Unlenuchung der Quellcribcnutzung bei Diodor, p. 26. 

* vmhofiivous Dindorf : uwfiSoficyovs. 

* /ih Vogel: /iey yap Vulgate, Bekker : /itr olv Dindorf. 

BOOK I. 66. 10-67. 1 

received an Oracle to the effect that the first one of 
their number to pour a libation from a bronze bowl 
to the god in Memphis should rule over all Egypt, 
and when one of the priests brought out of the temple 
eleven 1 golden bowls, Psammetichus took off his 
helmet and poured the libation from it. Now his 
colleagues, although suspecting his act, were not yet 
ready to put him to death, but drove him instead 
from public life, with orders that he should spend his 
days in the marshes along the sea. Whether they 
feli out for this reason or because of the envy which, 
as mentioned above, they felt towards him, at any 
rate Psammetichus, calling mercenaries from Caria 
and Ionia, overcame the others in a pitehed battle 
near the city called Momemphis, and of the kings 
who opposed him some were slain in the battle and 
some were driven out into Libya and were no longer 
able to dispute with him for the throne. 

67. After Psammetichus had established his 
authority over the entire kingdom he built for the 
god in Memphis the east propylon and the enclosure 
about the temple, supporting it with colossi 2 twelve 
cubits high in place of pillars; and among the 
mercenaries he distributed notable gifts over and 
above their promised pay, gave them the region 
called The Camps to dwell in, and apportioned to 
them much land in the region lying a little up the 
river from the Pelusiae mouth; they being subse- 
quently removed thence by Amasis, who reigned 

1 All former editore retain the reading “ twelve” of the 
MSS.; but the parallel aocount in Herodotus gives the number 
as “ eleven,” thus furnishing the occasion for the use of his 
helmet by Psammetichus. 

2 Here are meant square pillars with an attached statue 
in front; cp. p. 167, n. 3. 



2 Xevoas avecrTrjae Kal KaTwKiaev et? M epcfiiv. Sia, 
Se tcov /u<r0o<f)6pot>v KaTcop&coKcbs ttjv fiaaiXeiav 
6 'Pa p-p.r)T t^o? tovtoii to Xoiirov paXim' iveiri- 
areve ra /cara ttjv apy^v /eal StereXeae %evo- 

3 Tpo<j>a>v p.eydXa<} Svvdpeis, cnpaTeveravTO ? S’ 

et? tt) v 'Zvpiav avrov Kal /cara ra? ir aparafet? 
t on? fiev p.ia0o<l>6pov'i irpoTipcbvTO<! Kal rarTOfro? 
et? ra Segia p-epc], toii? S’ eyxmpiov<s aTipoTepov 
ayovTO? Kal tov evcovvpov tottov dirovepovTo<s 
Trjs cf>dXayyo<i t oi pev AiyviTTioi Sia ttjv vftpiv 
irapo^vvOevTes Kal yevopevoi to 7tX7/#o? irXeiov? 
tcov etKoai pvpidScov direaT^oav Kal irpoijyov 
€7r AiOiotrias, «e/cpt/roTe? iSiav ydtpav eavTois 

4 KaTaKTaadai’ 6 Se /3atnXevs to pev irpcoTov 
eirepyjre Tiva<: tcov fjyepMvcov roti? airoXoyrjao- 
pevovi virep tt)? art/tta?, t»? S’ ov irpocreZyov 
avTot<s, a lito? pera tcov (ptXcov eSicoge 7rXotot?. 

6 tt poayovTcov S’ avT&v irapa tov NetXoi/ Kal roo? 
0 / 300 ? virep^aXXovTcov tt)? Alyvinov, eSeiTO pueTa- 
vorjaai Kal tcov re iepcbv Kal t&v iraTpiScov, ert 

6 Se Kal yvvaiKcbv kcu tckvcov vire plpvr/a kcv . oi 
S apa irdvre<i dvafiorjcrairTes Kal rot? kovtois 
Ta? aeririSas iraTal-avTes e<f>aaav, ew? av Kvpiev- 
coai t&v oirXcov, paSicoi evpijaeiv iraTpiSar 
avacrTeiXdpevoi Se too? ^trwoa? Kal Ta yevvrj- 
tiko, pep-rj 1 tov acopaTov Set^avre<s oore yvvaiK&v 
ovTe tckvcov airoprjaeiv ecf>aaav raor’ e^oore?. 

7 TotavTT) Se peyaXo^rvxia xpyadpevoi Kal KaTa- 

1 /xfipia G, Bekker, Dindorf. 

1 A similar aocount is in Herodotus (2. 164), who looates 
(2. 30) the Camps more precisely at Daphnae, the modern 

BOOK I. 67. 1-7 

many years later, and settled by him in Memphis. 1 
And since Psammetichus had established his rule 
with the aid of the mercenaries, he henceforth 
entrusted these before others with the administra- 
tion of his empire and regularly maintained large 
mercenary forces. Once in connection with a cam- 
paign in Syria, when he was giving the mercenaries 
a more honourable place in his order of battle by 
putting them on the right wing and showing the 
native troops less honour by assigning them the 
positionon the leftwing of the phalanx, the Egyptians, 
angered by this slight and being over two hundred 
thousand strong, revolted and set out for Ethiopia, 
having determined to win for themselves a country 
of their own. The king at first sent some of his 
generals to make excuse for the dishonour done to 
them, but since no heed was paid to these he set out 
in person after them by boat, accompanied by his 
friends. And when they stili continued their march 
along the Nile and were about to cross the boundary 
of Egypt, he besought them to change their purpose 
and reminded them of their templcs, their homeland, 
and of their wives and children. But they, all crying 
aloud and striking their spears against their shields, 
declared that so long as they had weapons in their 
hands they would easily find homelands; and lifting 
their garments and pointing to their genitals they 
said that so long as they had those they would never 
be in want either of wives or of children. After such 
a display of high courage and of utter disdain for 

Teli Defenneh on the Pelusiae arm of the Nile, now a canal. 
The mercenaries were thus strategically placed at the Syrian 
entrance into Egypt. 



ij/povqaavTes t &v iraph rot? dXXo<? peyLcncov 
elvai Sokovvtiov, /caTekaftovTo pev Tq<s AWiorria ? 

KpaTitTTTjv, KaTaK\r}pov^yaavTe<s Se 7 roWrjv 
Xfbpav ev Tavrrj /caT&K-qaav. 

8 O Se M'a/4/4 777-^0? eVi /tei/ tovtols ov perptax; 
e\vTrt)0r], Ta Se «ara Atyvjnov Siaraga? /cal 
t5>v irpoaoSwv eirip,e'k6p.evos Trpo<s re ’A drjvaiov? 
km Tivat t&v aWcov 'EWqvtov avppaxj-av eiroiij- 

9 craro. einjpyeTei Se icat t&v Ijevcov tovs ede- 

\0VT7JV 1 ei? TT]V AlyVTTTOV an oSt)POVVT a?, /Cal 

tfnAiWijv &v Siacpepov ra>? toi)? vtovs ttjv 'EXXt;- 
eSiSalje iraiSeiav /caOoXov Se irpSno<: t&v 
kcit Alyvmov ftaoikectiv avecpfje rot? aXXot? 
edveai ra /cara ttjv aXkrjv 2 x^P av cpnopia 
xai 7 roWrjv dacpakeiav toi ? /caTanXeovat gevois 

10 7rapeiX€To. oi pev yap npo tovtov Svvaarev- 
eravTe<s aftaTov enolovv rot? feVot? T171' Aiyvmov, 
tov<; pev <J>ovevovTe<;, rou? Se /caTaSovkovpevoi t&v 

11 KaTairXeovTtov. /cal yap q nepl tov B ovaipiv 
aaefieia Sta ttjv t&v eyxwpttov agevtav Steftoqdq 
irapa toi<s EXkqtriv, oii/c ova a pev irpo^ akq- 
deiav. Sia Se ttjv virepftokqv t r}<: avop.La<i el<i 
pvdov •nkdap.a KaTax^ypiad eia a. 

68 . Mera Se '‘Vapp.qaixov voTepov reTrapai 
yevealt 'A-ap/qt efiaalXevaev eTt) Sval 7rXet<u 
t&v et/coai. aTpaTevaa? Se Svvafieatv aSpai<s 
7 refat? re /cal vavTucah eVt Kvnpov /cal <Poivl/crjv, 

1 ietKovrb» Kalker : idtXovrl. 

* Keiske would delete &.x\ n v, as is done by Bekker and 
Dindorf, or read 0A.171/. 

1 This story of the Deserters is given by Herodotus 12. 30), 
but in less detail. 


BOOK I. 67. 7-68. 

what among other men is regarded as of the greatest 
consequence, they seized the best part of Ethiopia, 
and after apportioning much land among themselves 
they made their horne there. 1 

Although Psammetichus was greatly grieved over 
these things, he put in order the affairs of Egypt, 
looked after the royal revenues, and then formed 
alliances with both Athens and certain other Greek 
States. He also regularly treated with kindness any 
foreigners who sojoumed in Egypt of their own free 
will, and was so great an admirer of the Hellenes that 
he gave his sons a Greek education; and, speaking 
generally, he was the first Egyptian king to open to 
other nations the trading-places throughout the rest 2 
of Egypt and to offer a large measure of security to 
strangers from across the seas. For his predecessors 
in power had consistently closed Egypt to strangers, 
either killing or enslaving any who touched its shores. 
Indecd, it was because of the objection to strangers 
on the part of the people that the impiety of Busiris 
became a byword among the Greeks, although this 
impiety was not actually such as it was described, 
but was made into a fictitious myth because of the 
exceptional disrespect of the Egyptians for ordinary 

68. Four generations after Psammetichus, Apries 588-866 
was king for twenty-two years. He made a cam- B '°' 
paign with strong land and sea forces against Cyprus 

* This reading of the MSS., which has disturbed some 
editore, may properly be retained. It is understood from the 
beginning of the chapter that Psammetichus could allow 
foreigners to trade only in the regions of which he was govemor. 

Upon becoming king he extends that privilege over “ the rest ” 
of Egypt. 

2 35 


2,i8&va pev /cara «paro? elXe, r d? 8’ aXXai rai 
iv t fj <&oivUy 7ro\et? KaranX^dpevoi npoarjyd- 
76 to- evLKi]ae 8e Kal vavpaxla peydXr/ <&oivucd<; 
T6 Kal Kvnplovi, Kal Xaipvpwv ddpoLtrai rrXfjdoi 

2 inavfjXOev el<s AiyvnTov. pera 8e Taura 8vvapiv 
Triplas dhpav rmv opoedvwv ini Kvpijvyv Kal 
B dpKTjv, Kal t o nXelarov avryi dnofiaXwv, 
dXXor pLovi e<rx e T »W hiaawdevrai- vnoXaftovrei 
yap avrov in’ dnwXeLa trvvrd^ai t?; v arrpareLav, 
ontoi datfcaXearepov dpxp rd>v Xoincbv Alyvnrimv, 

3 anecmjaav, anoaraXel ? Se 7rpo? toutou? u7to 
toO fta<n\eco<: "Apaaii, dvijp ip<f>avr)i Aiyvnrioi, 
tS>v pev pijdevrwv 1 vn’ avrov 7rpo? opovoiav 
rjpeXycre, rovvavriov 8’ eKeivovi nporpe^rapevoi 
611 aXXorpLorrjra avvanearrj Kal ftaatXevi avroi 

4 rjpedr).' per ov noXiiv 8e xpovov Kal r&v dXXeov 
iyxtopiiov dnavrcov crvvemdepeva>v, 6 ftaaiXeiii 
8tanopovpevoi pvayKaadr) Karacfivyeiv ini rovi 

5 pi<r0o(popovi, ovrai et? rpLapvplovi. yevopevrji 
ovv napard^ewi nepl rrjv M dpetav Kcbprjv, Kal 
rwv AlyvnrLiov rrj paxj] Kparr/advrcov , o pe v 
'Anpiyi faypyOeli dvtjxfv « al arpayyaXiadeU 2 
ereXevTT/aev, Apaaii 8e 8iard!jai rd Kara rrjv 
fiacnXelav <5? 7 tot e'8o[jev avra> trvpfyipeiv, ypxe 
voptpcoi t cov Aiyvrrritov Kal peydXrji irvyxavev 

0 dnoSoxvi^ Karearr perraro 8e Kal rdi iv Kvnpm 
7 roXeii Kai noXXa ra>v lepFov e/cocr pr/aev avaOrj- 
paaiv dgioXoyon. fiaaiXevaai 8’ err/ nevre 

1 Bekker and Dindorf, following Wesseling, read faBu/rav 
and retain ivroMv of the MSS. after ipivoiav ; Yogel 

following Eichstiidt, retains (nfiivTtov of the MSS. and 

deletes cvtoX&v. 



BOOK I. 68. 1-6 

and Phoenicia, took Sidon by storm, and so tcrrified 
the other cities of Phoenicia that he secured their 
submission; he also defeated the Phoenicians and 
Cyprians in a great sea-battle and returned to Egypt 
with much booty. After this he sent a strong native 
force against Cyrene and Barce and, when the larger 
part of it was lost, the survivors became estranged 
from him; for they feltthat he had organized the ex- 
pedition with a view to its destruction in order that 
his rule over the rest of the Egyptians might be more 
secure, and so they revolted. The man sent by the 
king to treat with them, one Amasis, a prominent 
Egyptian, paid no attention to the orders given him to 
effect a reconciliation, but, on the contrary, increased 
their estrangement, joined their revolt, and was him- 
self chosen king. 1 When a little later all the rest of 
the native Egyptians also went over to Amasis, the 
king was in such straits that he was forced to flee for 
safety to the mercenaries, who numbered some thirty 
thousand men. A pitched battle accordingly took 
place near the village of Maria and the Egyptians 
prevailed in the struggle; Apries feli alive into the 
hands of the enemy and was strangled to death, and 
Amasis, arranging the affairs of the kingdom in 
whatever manner seemed to him best, ruled over the 
Egyptians in accordance with the laws and was held 
in great favour. He also reduced the cities of Cyprus 
and adomed many temples with noteworthy votive 
offerings. After a reign of fifty-five years he ended 

1 Amasis (Ahmose II of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty) reigned 
569—526-5 B.C., the first three years of his reign coinciding 
with the last three years of Apries. 

* <rrpayyaKur6els Dindorf: arpayyaKffiets. 



7 T/ 30 ? Toi? irevTrjKovra KaTeo-rpeyjre rov 0Lov 
KaO' ov xpovov Kap0vaTjf 6 t&v llepa&v 0a<n- 
Xevi earparevaev eVt ttjv AiyvirTov, tcara ro 
rptrov Ito? Ttjf e^vKoaTrjv ical TpiTTjs 'OXvpnnd8o<;, 
fjv evl/ca (rraSiov UappevLSij<{ K apapivaios, 

69. ’E7ret Se ra<! t&v iv Alyinnat 0 aaiXecov 
irpagei? diro t&v dp^aiOTarwv %povoov SieXrjXv- 
Oapev aptcovvTi o? P^XP 1 'ApdaiSo<; TeXevTtjs, 
Ta? Xonras avaypayfropev ev toi? oltceLoi? xpbvoi?’ 

2 7 repi Se t&v vop.Lp.wv t&v kclt Atyvmov vvv 
Sie^ipev ev iceifiaXaLoi? Ta Te irapaSo^oTaTa ical 
Ta paXuna wcfteXrjaai Svvapeva tov? avayivw- 
cncovTa?. TroXXa yap t&v i raXai&v eO&v t&v 
yevopevatv irap Aiyvmloi? ov pbvov irapa toi? 
iyXwpLoit d-TToSoxrji hvxev, dXXd ical -rapa toi? 

3 "EXXrjO-tv ov peTpLco? eQavpdaQtj- Sioirep ol 
peyidTOi t&v ev iraiSeLa So^aadevTwv ifjnXoTi- 
prjQrjaav eli ALyvir tov irapa0aXeiv, iva peTa- 
(TXwcn t&v Te vopwv ical t&v ejriTTjSev paTwv w? 

4 a^ioXoywv ovtwv. tcalirep ydp ttj? x&pa? t o 
iraXaiov Svae 7 n 0 aTov toi? %evoi? ovarj? Sia Ta? 
Trpoeiprjpeva? aiTia?, opw? eairevaav et? avrrjv 
7 rapa 0 aXeiv t&v pev apxaiOTaTwv 'Opcfrev? ical 
6 ttoitjttj? "Oprjpo?, t&v Se peTayeveaTepwv aXXoi 
Te irXeLov? ical Tlvdayopa? 6 "Zapio?, Uti Se 

5 SoXwv 6 vopoOerij?. Xeyovcn toLvvv ALyvmioi 
irap avTOi? ttjv Te t&v ypappaTwv evpeaiv 
yevecrdai ical ttjv t&v acnpasv irapaTrjfyrjaiv , irpo? 
Se tovtoi? Ta Te icara ttjv yewpeTpLav Qewprj- 
paTa ical t&v Te^v&v Ta? TrXelaTa? evpedrjvai, 

6 vopov? Te tov? apiaTov? Te 8 r)vai. tcal tovtwv 
peyLcnrjv airoSei^Lv <pacnv elvai to ttj? Alyinnov 

BOOK I. 68. 6-69. 6 

his days at, the time when Cambyses, the king of the 
Persians, attacked Egypt, in the third year of the 
Sixty-third Olympiad, that in which Parmenides of 626-s 
Camarina won the “ stadion.” 1 B - 0, 

69. Now that we have discussed sufBciently the 
deeds of the kings of Egypt from the very earliest 
times down to the death of Amasis, we shall record 
the other events in their proper chronological setting; 
but at this point we shall give a summary account of 
the customs of Egypt, both those which are especially 
strange and those which can be of most value to our 
readers. For many of the customs that obtained in 
ancient days among the Egyptians have not only 
been accepted by the present inhabitants but have 
aroused no little admiration among the Greeks; and 
for that reason those men who have won the greatest 
repute in intellectual things have been eager to visit 
Egypt in order to acquaint themselves with its laws 
and institutions, which they considered to be worthy 
of note. For despite the fact that for the reasons 
mentioned above strangers found it difficult in early 
times to enter the country,it wasnevertheless eagerly 
visited by Orpheus and the poet Homer in the earliest 
times and in later times by many others, such as 
Pythagoras of Samos and Solon the lawgiver. 2 Now 
it is maintained by the Egyptians that it was they 
who first discovered writing and the observation of 
the stars, who also discovered the basic principies of 
geometry and most of the arts, and established the 
best laws. And the best proof of all this, they say, 
lies in the fact that Egypt for more than four 

1 The famous foot-race at Olympia, 606i feet long. 

* Cp. for Orpheus, chap. 23, for Homer, chap. 12, for 
Pythagoras and Solon, chap. 98. 

3 39 


rrXeico r&v errraxoalcov /cal rerpaxiaxi-Xlcov ir&v 
ftaatXevaai rovs rrXeiovs eyyevels /ceu ttjv x<opav 
evSaipoveardrrjv vrrdp^ai rrjs arrd<rr)s ot/cov- 
pevrjs' t avra yap ov/c av rrore yeveadai pr) ov 
t&v dvdp&rraiv xpwpeveov /cparlcrrois edeai /cal 
vopois /cal t ois /cara rraaav rraiSeiav emrrjSev- 

1 pacnv. oaa pev ovv 'HpoSoro? /cai rives r&v rds 
Aiyvrrrtuv rrpdgeis avvragapevcov iaxe&id/caaiv, 
e/covaicos rrpo/cptvavres rrjs aXrjdelas ro rrapa- 
So^oXoyeiv tcal pvOovs rrXdrreiv -ijrvxaycoylas 
eve/ca, rrapr/aopev, abra Se ra rrapa rois lepeixri 
rols Kar Aiyvrrrov ev rais dvaypa<f>ais yeypap- 
peva (j/iXoripcos egtjra/cores exO^aopeOa. 

70. Ylpcbrov pev roivvv oi fiaaiXels avr&v f 3 lov 
ejx°v °i>x opoiov rois aXXois rois ev povapxixals 
i^ovaiais ovat /cal irdvra rrpdrrovai /cara rt]v 
eavr&v rrpoaipeaiv dvvrrevd vvois, aXX’ fjv drravra 
reraypeva vopoiv emrayais, ov pbvov ra rrepl 
rovs XPVP-ariopovs, dXXd xal ra rrepl rrjv xa 9 ' 

2 fipepav Siaycoyfjv /cal Siairav. rrepl pev yap rrjv 
Oeparreiav avrcov ovSels rjv ovr’ apyvp&vt]ros 
ov r oucoyevrjs SovXos, aXXa r&v emijiaveardrmv 
tepecov vlol rravres, vrrep eixoai pev ertj yeyovores, 
rrerraiSevpevot Se xaXXiara r&v opoe 6 v&v, iva 
rovs erripeXrjaopevovs rov a & par os /cal rraaav 
rjpepav /cal vv/cra rrpoaeSpevovras 6 / 3 aaiXevs 
eycov dpiaroys prjSev emrrjSevr} (f/avXov- ovSels 
yap errl rrXeov /ca/cias rrpofUaivei Svvaarrjs, eciv 
M ro vs vrrriperriaovTas' e^j? rais emOvpiais. 

3 Siareraypevai S’ fjaav ai re rfjs rjpepas /cal rrjs 


BOOK I. 69. 6-70. 3 

thousand seven hundrcd years was ruled over by kings 
of whom the majority were native Egyptians, and 
that the land was the most prosperous of the whole 
inhabited world; for these things could never have 
been true of any people which did not enjoy most 
excellent customs and laws and the institutions which 
promote culture of every kind. Now as for the 
stories invented by Herodotus and certain writers on 
Egyptian affairs, who deliberately preferred to the 
truth the telling of marvellous tales and the invention 
of myths for the delectation of tlieir readers, these we 
shall omit, and we shall set forth only what appears 
in the written records of the priests of Egypt and has 
passed our careful scrutiny. 

70. In the first place, then, the life which the kings 
of the Egyptians lived was not like that of other men 
who enjoy autocratic power and do in ali matters 
exactly as they please without being held to account, 
but all their acts were regulated by prescriptions set 
forth in laws, not only their administrative acts, but 
also those that had to do with the way in which they 
spent their time from day to day, and with the food 
which they ate. In the matter of their servants, for 
instance, not one was a slave, such as had been 
acquired by purchase or bom in the home, but all 
were sons of the most distinguished priests, over 
twenty years old and the best educated of their 
fellow-countrymen, in order that the king, by virtue of 
his having the noblest men to care for his person and 
to attend him throughout both day and night, might 
follow no low practices; for no ruler advances far 
along the road of evil unless he has those about him 
who will minister to his passions. And the hours of 
both the day and night were laid out according to a 


PVKTOi &pai, Kad' a? e/c -rrapTOi rpoirov KadrjKOp 
fjv top ftaaiXea irparretv to avvTeTaypevov, ov 

4 to 8e8oypevov eavT&. easdep pep yap iyepdivra 
Xaftelp avrop e8et irp&Top Tai irapra^odep aire- 
UTaXpepai eiriuToXdi, iva 8 vpt)tcu irdpra /cara 
rpoirop •^p-qpaTi^etv Kal irpaTTeiP, el8 &? aKpif3&i 
etcaoTa t&p /cara ttjp fiaaiXeiap avvTeXovpevoiv 
eireiTa Xovudpepop Kal Tot? tj}? dpXVi uvuur)- 
pon per' eadrjroi Xapirpai KouprjuapTa to od>pa 
dvaai Toli deoti. 

6 ^ T&> T6 /3oip& irpoaa^deprtap t&p dvparutp edo ? 
rjp top ap%iepea orapra irXrjatov tov fiaaiXeuii 
ev^eudat peydXy tt) <j>a>pf), TrepteuT&TOi tov 
irXrjdovi t&p AlyvTTTicop, Sovpai Tijv Te vytetap 
Kal Ta\\a dyada irapra ''•$ fiaatXel SiaTrjpovPTt 

6 tcl 7T/D0? Tobi inroTeTaypevovi SiKata. apdopoXo- 
yeludat 8’ rjp avay/calop Kal Tai «ani pepoi 
aperdi abrov, XeyopTa 8 ioti irpoi re robi deovi 
evaefi&i Kal irpoi Tovi dvdp&irovi rjpep&Tara 
SiaKetTar iyKpaT-rji Te ydp euTi Kal Si'«a«o? Kal 
peyaXoyfrvxos, eri 8' dyfrevSr/i «ai peTaSoTiKOi 
t&p ayad&p Kal KadoXov irdarji emdvpiai Kpetr- 
Ttop, Kal Tai pep Tiparpiai eXaTTOVi Trji ajfta? 
etriTideli Toti dpapTrjpaut, Tai 8e yaptrai 
pei^opai Trji evepyeuiai airoSiSobi Tot? evepyeTij- 

7 uaui. 7 roXXd 8e Kal aXXa it apairXrjuia tovtoh 
8ieXd&p 6 KaTev^opepoi to reXevTalop vireo t&p 
aypoovpepcop dpap eiroieiTO, top pep jdaatXea t&p 
eyKXrjpaToip egaipovpepoi, et? Se t ovi vmjpe- 
TovPTai Kal StSdgaprai Ta </>avXa Kal tt)p fiXaftrjp 

8 «ai tt)p Tipwpiap a£i&p dirouKrp\rat. TavTa 8 ’ 
eirparrep apa pep et? 8 etui 8 atpoptap Kal deotptXrj 

BOOK I. 70. 3-8 

plan, and at the specified hours it was absolutely 
required of the king that he should do what the laws 
stipulated and not what he thought best. For 
instance, in the morning, as soon as he was awake, 
he first of all had to receive the letters which had been 
sent from all sides, the purpose being that he might 
be able to despatch all administrative business and 
perform every act properly, being thus accurately 
informed about everything that was being done 
throughout his kingdom. Then, after he had bathed 
and bedecked his body with rich garments and the 
insignia of his office, he had to sacrifice to the gods. 

When the victims had been brought to the altar 
it was the custom for the high priest to stand near 
the king, with the common people of Egypt gathered 
around, and pray in a loud voice that health and 
all the other good things of life be given the king 
if he maintains justice towards his subjects. And 
an open confession had also to be made of each and 
every virtue of the king, the priest saying that 
towards the gods he was piously disposed and 
towards men most kindly; for he was self-controlled 
and just and magnanimous, truthful, and generous 
with his possessions, and, in a word, superior to 
every desire, and that he punished crimes less 
severely than they deserved and rendered to his 
benefactors a gratitude exceeding the benefaction. 
And after reciting much more in a similar vein he 
concluded his prayer with a curse conceming things 
done in error, exempting the king from all blame 
therefor and asking that both the evil consequences 
and the punishment should fall upon those who 
served him and had taught him evil things. All 
this he would do, partly to lead the king to fear 


fitov tov ftacriXea irpoTpettbpevos, dpa Se /cal 
/cara -rpamov Ki)v edl^cov ov Sia m/cpas vovderp- 
trecos, aXXa Si etralvtov tteyjapiapkvmv /cal irpos 
9 apertjv pAXiar' avp/covTcov. pera Se ravra tov 
fiaaiXecos iepoa/ctmpaapevov pbayjo /cal /caX- 
Xieppaavros, 6 pev lepoypappaTevs irapaveyi- 
viocrKe rivas crvp/3ovXias trvptpepovaas /cal 
tt paleis e/c t&v lep&v /3l/3\a>v t&v eiri<\>ave- 
otutcov dvSp&v, ottcos b t&v oXtov Trjv pyepovlav 
e^cov ras /caXXlcrTas irpoaipetreis tt) Siavoia 
decoppaas ovtco irpos ttjv Teraypevpv t&v nara 

10 pepos t peiTpTat Sioi/cpaiv . ov yap povov tov 
XPV pariae iv rj /cpiveiv pv /catpos &piapevos, aXXa 
/cal tov irepiTraTrjaai /cal Xovaaaffai /cal /coipp- 
Qpvai pera rps yvvancos /cal /cadoXov t&v /cara 

11 tov /3iov TrpaTTopevoov airdvTcov. t po<j>ais S’ 
edos pv ai/Tols arraXals 1 xpptrdai, /cpea pev 
poaxwv /cal XVV&v povcov s irpocrcf/epopevovs, 
olvov Se ra/cTov ti perpov trivovTas pp Svvapevov 

12 7r Xpapovpv a/caipov rj pedpv Trepnrotpcrai. /ca- 
doXov Se ra rrepl ttjv Sianav outws vtt fjpxe 
avpperpcos Siareraypeva wtrre So/ceiv pp vopo- 
6erpv, aXXa tov apicrrov t&v iarp&v avvTera- 
X^vai Tps vyielas aToxa^bpevov. 

71. HapaSo^ov S' elvai Sokovvtos tov pp 
iTcurav exeiv e^ovaiav tov fiaaiXea ttjs /cad' 
ppepav Tpocftrjs, ttoXX& Qavpaai&repov pv to 
ppre Si/ca^eiv ppre XPVpari^eiv to Tvvbv avrois 
e^elvai, ppSe Tipusppoaadai ppSeva oi vfipiv p 
Siti dvpov r) Tiva aXXpv ahiav aSi/cov, aXXa 

1 airaAcut Yogel (cp. ehap. 84. 5) : a* Acus II, Bekker, 


BOOK I. 70. 8-71. 1 

the gods and live a life pleasing to them, and partly 
to accustom him to a proper manner of conduct, 
not by sharp admonitions, but through praises that 
were agreeable and most conducive to virtue. After 
this, when the king had performed the divination 
from the entrails of a calf and had found the omens 
good, the sacred scribe read before the assemblage 
from out of the sacred books some of the edifying 
counsels and deeds of their most distinguished men, 
in order that he who held the supreme leadership 
should first contemplate in his mind the most excel¬ 
lent general principies and then tum to the pre- 
scribed administration of the several functions. For 
there was a set time not only for his holding audiences 
or rendering judgments, but even for his taking a 
walk, bathing, and sleeping with his wife, and, in a 
word, for every act of his life. And it was the 
custom for the kings to partake of delicate food, 
eating no other meat than veal and duck, and 
drinking only a prescribed amount of wine, which 
was not enough to make them unreasonably surfeited 
or drunken. And, speaking generally, their whole 
diet was ordered with such continence that it had 
the appearance of having been drawn up, not by a 
lawgiver, but by the most skilled of their physicians, 
with only their health in view. 

71. Strange as it may appear that the king did 
not have the entire control of his daily fare, far 
more remarkable stili was the fact that kings were 
not allowed to render any legal decision or transact 
any business at random or to punish anyone through 
malice or in anger or for any other unjust reason, 

* nAvwr Vogel: /Uyoy Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 



/cadairep oi irepl e/cdartop /ceipevoi popot irpoa- 

2 erarrop. ravra Se /cara to 'idos ir parropres 
ovX oircos rjyava/crovp rj rrpoae/corrrop r ais 
yjrvxais , 1 aXXa rovvavrlop r/yovpro eavrovs £»?*' 

3 ftiop pa/capi&rarov tou? pev yap aXXovs dv 6 p&- 
irovs evopi^op dXoylareos rois (jrvai/cols iradeai 
X a pi£opePovs iroXXa rrparreip r&p (frepoprarp 
{ 3 Xa/ 3 as fj kipSvpo vs, koX iroXXd/cts ipiovs elSoras 
ori peXXovtrip apaprdpeiv pr/Sep fjr top irparreip 
ra tpavXa /cartaxvopevovs vir’ e porros rj plaovs 
V npos erepov iradovs, eavrovs S’ ifrXar/coras 
fiiop rop viro r&p tfrpopiporrarorp avSp&p irpo/ce/cpi- 

4 pepop ekaxia-Tois irepiiriirreip dyvoypaai. roi- 
avrr) Se xPfopepcnp r&p ftaaiXeorp Si/caioawrj 
rrpos rovs viror er aypepovs, ra irXydtj r ais eis 
rovs yyovpevovs evpolais iraaap avyyepucyv 
(fuXoaropylap virepefidXXero' ov yap popop ro 
avarypa r&p iepearp, dXXa /cal avXXyftSyp 
airapres oi /car Aiyvirrop ovx ovror yvpai/c&p 
/cal re/cparv /cat r&p aXXarp r&p virapxoprarp 
avrois ayad&p etfrpopn^op &s rrjs r&p fHacriXearp 

6 aacfraXeias. roiyapovp irXeicrrop pep xpopop r&p 
ppypovevopevap / 3 aaiXeorp iroXin/cyp /caraaraaip 
erypyaap, evSaipoveararop Se $Lop ixopres Sie- 
reXeaap, eors epeipep rj irpoeipypepy r&p popcop 
avpratjis, irpos Se rovrois effp&v T e irXeitrrarp 
eire/cpdrrjaap /cal peyiarovs irXovrovs eaxop, /cal 
ras pep X<u/>a? epyois /cal /caraa/ce vdapaaip 
dpvirepfiXyrois, ras Se iroXeis dpaOypaai iroXv- 
reXetri /cal iraproiois e/cbcrpyaap. 

72 . Kal ra pera ryp reXevryp Se y/vopepa 
1 'P u X a ~r MSS., Vogel: tux ais Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 71. 1-72. 1 

but only in accordance with the established laws 
relative to each offence. And in following the 
dictates of custom in these matters, so far were they 
from being indignant or taking offence in their souls, 
that, on the contrary, they actually held that they 
led a most happy life; for they believed that ali 
other men, in thoughtlessly following their natural 
passions, commit many acts which bring them 
injuries and perils, and that oftentimes some who 
realize that they are about to commit a sin neverthe- 
less do base acts when overpowered by love or hatred 
or some other passion, while they, on the other hand, 
by virtue of their having cultivated a manner of 
life which had been chosen before all others by the 
most prudent of all men, feli into the fewest mistakes. 
And since the kings followed so righteous a course 
in dealing with their subjects, the people manifested 
a goodwill towards their rulers which surpassed even 
the affection they had for their own kinsmen; for 
not only the order of the priests but, in short, all 
the inhabitants of Egypt were less concemed for 
their wives and children and their other cherished 
possessions than for the safety of their kings. Conse- 
quently, during most of the time covered by the 
reigns of the kings of whom we have a record, they 
maintained an orderly civil govemment and con- 
tinued to enjoy a most felicitous life, so long as the 
System of laws described was in force; and, more 
than that, they conquered more nations and achieved 
greater wealth than any other people, and adomed 
their lands with monuments and buildings never to 
be surpassed, and their cities with costly dedications 
of every description. 

72. Again, the Egyptian ceremonies which fol. 



rwv ftaaiXea>v rrapd toi? Alyvrrrioi^ ov [utcpav 
arroSeijjiv efye 1 Trj<s rov rrXrjOovs evvoiat el<s rov<s 
r/yovpevov<r el<s dverraia6r)rov yap X rl P lv V Tt PV 
nOepevr]paprvpiav avoOevrov rrepielx* rfj<s dXt)- 

2 9eia<s. orrore yap eKXeirroi ti? rov filov rSsv 
fiaaiXecov, rrdvrei oi Kard ttjv Aiyvrrrov koivov 
avypovvro iriy6o<t, Kal ra? pev eadrjra? Kareppjr- 
rovro, ra 8' iepa <rvv6/c\eiov tcai ra? 6vaia<s 
67 Tetxpv Kal r a? eopra? ovk rjyov e<f>' r)pepa<; 
e/38oprjKovra Kal 8vo' KararreirXaapevoi Se ra? 
*e</>a\a? rrrjXS) Kal rrepiefaapevoi <TivSovai vtto- 
kcitco r£>v paardtv bpoloss dv8pe<; xal yvvaiKe<i 
rrepifjaav aPpoiaPeirres /cara Staxoalov ? rj rpia- 
kooLovs, Kal r ov pev Oprjvov iv pv6p& per dSfji 
rroiovpevoi Sis t% i) pipa? iripmv iyKwpioi ?, 
dvaKaXovpevot rr/v apertjv rov rereXevrr)Koro<i, 
rpo<pr)V 8' ovre rr/v arro rdiv ipyjrvx<ov ovre rrjv diro 
rov 7 rvpov rrpoaetpepovro, rov re olvov Kal rrdor]<s 

3 rroXyreXeia<; dvei'xovro. ov8eU 8' av ovre Xovrpol<s 
ovr aXeippaoiv ovre arpa>pval<{ rrpoeiXero XPV~ 
aOai, ov prjv ov8e rrpo ? ra d<f>po8i<ria rrpoaeXOelv 
av eroXpijaev, aXXd Kadarrep dyamjrov reKvov 
reXevrtjaavro<s %Kaoro<; rrepuoSvvos yivopevos 

4 irreyffei ra? elpr)peva<; f/pepa<;. ev 8e rovrtp r& 
XP° V( ? tA 7j-/>o? racpTjV Xaprrp&s rrapeoKevaa- 
pevoi, Kal rjj reXevrala r&v rjpep&v 6evre<i rr/v 
ro a&pa exovaav XdpvaKa rrpo rrj<! et? rov 
racfyov et ao8ov, rr poer 19 ea av Kard vopov roS 
rereXevrrjKon Kpirrjpiov r&v iv r& /3t&> irpax&ev- 

5 tu», 8o0ei<TT)<; 8 etjovaias tu /3ovXopevrp Kari]- 
yopelv, oi pev lepek iveKcopiafrv e/caara rS>v 
KaXm aiirip rrpaxOivrwv 8ie%ibvre<;, ai 8e rrpo ? 

BOOK L 72. 1-5 

lowed upon the death of a king afforded no small 
proof of the goodwill of the people towards their 
rulers; for the fact that the honour which they 
paid was to one who was insensible of it constituted 
an authentic testimony to its sincerity. For when 
any king died all the inhabitants of Egypt United in 
mouming for him, rending their garments, closing 
the temples, stopping the sacrifices, and celebrating 
no festivals for seventy-two days; and plastering 
their heads with mud and wrapping strips of linen 
cloth below their breasts, women as well as men 
went about in groups of two or three hundred, and 
twice each day, reciting the dirge in a rhythmic chant, 
they sang the praises of the deceased, recalling his 
virtues; nor would they eat the flesh of any living 
thing or food prepared from wheat, and they abstained 
from wine and luxury of any sort. And no one would 
ever have seen fit to make use of baths or unguents 
or soft bedding, nay more, would not even have 
dared to indulge in sexual pleasures, but every 
Egyptian grieved and moumed during those seventy- 
two days as if it were his own beloved child that had 
died. But during this interval they had made 
splendid preparations for the burial, and on the last 
day, placing the coffin containing the body before 
the entrance to the tomb, they set up, as custom 
prescribed, a tribunal to sit in judgment upon the 
deeds done by the deceased during his life. And 
when permission had been given to anyone who so 
wislied to lay complaint against him, the priests 
praised all his noble deeds one after another, and 

1 «Zx« Bekker, Vo$,ei: tptpti AB, Dindorf. 



ttjv €K(f>opav avvrjypkvai pvpiaSes twv oyXwv 
aicovovaai ovveirevcfiTjpovv, ei Tirypi icaXws j3ej3i- 

6 t ok(o <?, ei Se prj, TovvavTiov edopvfiovv. ical 
noXXol twv /SacriXewv Sia ttjv tov irXtjBovs 
evavrimaiv dizeaTeprjBrjaav ttjs iptfiavovs ical 
vopipov t a<f>Tjs’ Sio ical ovvefiaive tovs ttjv 
ftaoiXelav SiaSeyopevovs prj povov Sia tcis apri 
pijdeicras ama? Sucaioir payeiv, aXXa ical Sia. tov 
(fioftov tFjs peTa ttjv TeXevTrjv eaopevrjs v [3 pedis 
re tov ochpaTOs ical fiXaatyrjpias eis a-rravTa tov 

T 5>v pev ovv irepl tovs apxaiovs fiaaiXeis 
vopLpcov t a peyiaTa TavT eoTiv. 

73. T fjs Aiyvmov Se irdaijs eis irXeioi peprj 
Sirjprjpevrjs, aiv eicacnov tcaTti ttjv 'E XXrpnicrjv 
SidXeicTov ovopa&Tai vopos, e<f>' eKaaTm TeTatcTai 
vopapyris 6 ttjv airdvTcov eyaiv inipeXeidv te ical 

2 fbpovTiSa. ttjs Se ycopas airaarjs eis TpLa peprj 
Siflptjpevijs ttjv pev irpdiTTjv eyei pepiSa to av- 
aTijpa toiv iepeoiv, peyiaTtjs evTpo-nfjs Tvyydvov 
irapa t ols eyywpiois Sia Te ttjv eis tovs Beovs 
empeheiav ical Sia to nXeia ttjv avveaiv tovs 

3 avSpas tovtovs etc iraiSeias elacpepeadai. iic Se 
tovtoov twv irpoaoSwv Ta? re dvolas dirdaas ra? 
kot AiyviTTOv tTWTeXovtu ical tovs VTTtjperas 
Tpecfiovcn ical Tais iSlais ypeiais yoprjyovaiv' 
oijTe yap Tas twv 8ewv Ttpas wovto Selv aXXaTTeiv, 
aXX' vtto Te twv av twv ael ical TrapaTrXrjaLws 

1 Two instances of this are given in chap. 64. 

1 The Harris Papyrus of the twelfth oentury B.o. gives the 
only definite figures of the vast holdings of the temples. 
They owned at that time about two per eent. of the population 


BOOK I. 72. 5-73. 3 

the common people who had gathered in myriads 
to the funeral, listening to them, shouted their 
approval if the king had led a worthy life, but if 
he had not, they raised a clamour of protest. And 
in fact many kings have been deprived of the public 
burial customarily accorded them because of the 
opposition of the people; * 1 the resuit was, conse- 
quently, that the successive kings practised justice, 
not merely for the reasons just mentioned, but also 
because of their fear of the despite which would be 
shown their body after death and of eternal 

Of die customs, then, touching the early kings 
these are the most important. 

73. And since Egypt as a whole is divided into 
several parts which in Greek are called nomes, over 
each of these a nomarch is appointed who is charged 
with both the oversight and care of all its affairs. 
Furthermore, the entire country is divided into 
three parts, the first of which is held by the order 
of the priests, which is accorded the greatest venera- 
tion by the inhabitants both because these men 
have charge of the worship of the gods and because 
by virtue of their education they bring to bear a 
higher intelligence than otliers. With the income 
from these holdings 2 of land they perform all the 
sacrifices throughout Egypt, maintain their assist- 
ants, and minister to their own needs; for it has 
always been held that the honours paid to the gods 
should never be changed, but should ever be per- 
formed by the same men and in the same manner, 

and some fifteen per cent. of the land, not to mention property 
of other nature, and their power materially increased in the 
succeeding centuries. 



avvTeXetaOat.ovTe t ovs irdvTwv TrpoftovXevoptevovs 

4 evSeets elvai twv avayKaimv. xaOoXov yap irepl 
t 5)v peylcrrwv ovtoi TrpofiouXevopevot avvStaTpl- 
fiovat tm /3aaiXel, Ttov pev crvvepyol, t&v Se 
elarjyrjTal xal StSaaxaXot ytvopevoi, xal Sta, pev 
ttjs aaTpoXoytas Kal ttjs tepoaxoirtas ra peX- 
XovTa TrpoarjptatvovTe ?, ex Se t&v ev Tats lepat ? 
fiiffXoK! avayeypappevwv -rrpdgewv ra? axpeXfjaat 

5 Svvapevas TrapavaytvtboxovTes. ov yap, wairep 
irapa t ots r EW^aw, et? dvrjp rj pia yvvy ttjv 
lepeoavvijv irapetXrj^ev, aXXa 7 roXXol irepl ra? 
twk tfetut/ Ovatas xal Ttpds Starpifiovai, Kal rot? 
exyovots ttjv opolav tov filov trpoatpeatv irapaSt- 
Soaatv. elal Se ovtoi -rrdvTwv re areXets Kal Sev- 
t epe vovt e? pera tov / 3aoiXea Tat? re Sogais Kal 
t at? e^ovatats. 

6 T^i/ Se SevTepav potpav oi /3aatXels irapetXrj- 
<f>aaiv eis irpoaoSovs, a<f>' d>v et? re toi)? -rroXe- 
povs X°PVyovai xal ttjv irepl ainovs XapirpoTTjTa 
SiatfivXaTTOvat, xal tovs pev dvSpayaOrjaavTas 
Stupeals xaTa ttjv agtav Ttpurot, tovs S’ IS tonas 
Sta ttjv ex tovtcov einropiav ov fiaTTTtfrvat rat? 

7 Ttjv Se pteptSa ttjv TeXevTalav eypvatv ol 
paxtpot xaXovpevot xal irpos ra? Xenovpylas 
t as eis ttjv aTpaTelav viraxovovTes, tv oi xtvSv- 
vevovTes evvovaTaTot ttj ^copa Sta, ttjv kXtj- 
povxlav ov re? 7 rpoOvpcas emSex^vTat ra avpfiiat- 

8 vovTa xaTa tovs iroXepovs Setvd, cltottov yap 
yv ttjv pev twv dirdvrtov aonrjplav tovtois 
eimpeiretv, virep ov Se dywviovvTai pijSev atnots 
xnrdpxetv xaTa ttjv x™P av airovSfjs agtov’ t o Se 

BOOK I. 73. 3-8 

and that those who deliberate on behalf of all should 
not lack the necessitics of life. For, speaking gener- 
ally, the priests are the first to deliberate upon the 
most important matters and are ahvays at the king’s 
side, sometimes as his assistants, sometimes to 
propose measures and give instructions, and they 
also, by their knowledge of astrology and of divina- 
tion, forecast future events, and read to the king, 
out of the record of acts preservcd in their sacred 
books, those which can be of assistance. For it is 
not the case with the Egyptians as it is with the 
Greeks, that a single man or a single woman takes 
over the priesthood, but many are engaged in the 
sacrifices and honours paid the gods and pass on to 
their descendants the same rule of life. They also 
pay no taxes of any kind, and in repute and in power 
are second after the king. 

The second part of the country has been taken 
over by the kings for their revenues, out of which 
they pay the cost of their wars, support the splendour 
of their court, and reward with fitting gifts any who 
have distinguished themselves; and they do not 
swamp the private citizens by taxation, since their 
income from these revenues gives them a great 

The last part is held by the warriors, as they are 
called, who are subject to call for all military duties, 
the purpose being that those who hazard their lives 
may be most loyal to the country because of such 
allotment of land and thus may eagerly face the 
perils of war. For it would be absurd to entrust the 
safety of the entire nation to these men and yet 
have them possess in the country no property to 
fight for valuable enough to arouse their ardour. 



pAyiarov, eviropovpevovs avrovs pa8ims re/cvo- 
iroirjaeiv, /cal 8ia tovto ttjv iroXvavdpcoiriav 
KaraaKevdaeiv} axne prj irpoaSelcrdai %£Vi/crjs 

9 81ivapecos ttjv ■ywpav. opoicos 8’ ovtoi ttjv 
ragiv TavTTjV €K irpoyovcov 8ia8e^6pevoi rais pev 
tcov irarepcov av8paya6lais irpor pkirovTai irpos 
ttjv dvSpeiav, i/c iraL8cov 8e tyjXcoTal yivopevoi 
tcov TToXepucwv 'ipycov dvi/CTjTOi Tai? roXpais «ai 
rat? ipiretpLais dirofiaLvovaiv. 

74. "Et 7 Tt 8' £T£pa auvTaypaTa ttjs iroXneLas 
rpia, to t€ t &v vopecov «at to tcov yecopy&v, eri 
8e to twv T^wra». ot pev oi/v yecopyol pi/cpov 
rivos ttjv /capnorfiopov yrjv ttjv irapa tov /3am- 
Xecos «at tcov lepecov /cal tSjv payipcov piaffov- 
pevoi SiareXovcri tov irdvra %p6vov irepl ttjv 
ipyaoLav ovres ttjs ^cbpas' e/c vrjiriov 8e avvrpe- 
(jropevoi Tat? yecopyacais iiripcXcLais iroXv irpo- 
e^ovai tStv irapa Tot? aXXois Wvecri yecopycbv 

2 Tat? ipireipiais’ «at yap ttjv ttjs yrjs <f>vaiv 
icat ttjv tcov vSdrcov eirippvaiv, £ti 8e tovs 
/caipovs tov re airopov «ai tov Oepiapuov /cal 
ttJ? aXXrjs tcov /capircbv avy/copiSrjs dvpi^ecrTaTa 
iravrcov yivcba/covai, t a pev i/c ttjs tcov irpoyovcov 
iraparTjprjaecos padovres, ra 8' i/c ttjs I8las 

3 ireipas SiSa^O evres. 6 8’ avros Xoyos £<ttI /cal 
irepl tcov vopecov, ot ttjv tcov 6pepparcov iiri- 
peXeiav e/c irarepcov mairep /cXrjpovopLas vopcp 
irapaXapftdvovTes iv filco /cTrjvorpocfxp SiareXovai 

4 irdvra tov tov %fjv ^povov , «at iroXXa pev irapa 
tcov irpoyovcov irpos depaireiav /cal SiarpocpTjv 
dpicTTTjv tcov jHocr/copevcov irapeiXrjfyacnv, ov/c oXlya 

1 KaTaaxcviaxv Stephanus: KaTaincfudfcty. 


BOOK I. 73. 8-74. 4 

But the most important consideration is the fact that, 
if they are well-to-do, they will readily beget children 
and thus so increase the population that the country 
will not need to call in any mercenary troops. And 
since their calling, like that of the priests, is here- 
ditary, the warriors are incited to bravery by the 
distinguished records of their fathers and, inasmuch 
as they become zealous students of warfare from 
their boyhood up, they tum out to be invincible by 
reason of their daring and skill. 1 

74. There are three other classes of free citizens, 
namely, the herdsmen, the husbandmen, and the 
artisans. Now the husbandmen rent on moderate 
ternis the arable land held by the king and the 
priests and the warriors, and spend their entire time 
in tilling the soil; and since from very infancy they 
are brought up in connection with the various tasks 
of farming, they are far more experienced in such 
matters than the husbandmen of any other nation; 
for of all mankind they acquire the most exact 
knowledge of the nature of the soil, the use of water 
in irrigation, the times of sowing and reaping, and 
the harvesting of the crops in general, some details 
of which they have leamed from the observations of 
their ancestors and others in the school of their own 
experience. And what has been said applies equally 
well to the herdsmen, who reccive the care of animals 
from their fathers as if by a law of inheritance, and 
follow a pastoral life all the days of their existence. 
They have received, it is true, much from their 
ancestors relative to the best care and feeding of 
grazing animals, but to this they add not a little 
1 The fullest account of this warrior caste is in Herodotus 
2 164 ff. 



S’ avTol Sth tov «’? raCra £r)Xov irpoaeupi- 
axouai, xal to OavpaaidiTaTOv, Sia ttjv virep- 
/3o\t)v t?)? et? Taura oirouSr)? oi re opviOorpotfioi 
xal oi XTjvoftoaicol opU t rjs irapa t oi? a\\oi? 
avdpuiirois ix Qvaem auvTeXoupevrj^ yeveaea)? 
ro3v elprjpeveov ^aiov auTol Sid r/J? tSta? <f>iXo- 
T6 xviav ap.u0r)TOV irXrjdo<; opvemv aOpoi^ovaiv 

5 ov yap iirwd^ovai Sia tcov opvidiav, aXX’ aurol 
t rapaSofw? ‘xeipovpyovvre? t fj auveaei xal tjnXo- 
Texyia t?)? <f>uoixrj<! evepyeia<s oux airoXeiirovTai. 

6 'AXXa prjv xal r a? re^ra? tSetf eoTi irapci 
rot? Alyuirnoii paXiaia Siaireirovrjpeva ? «at 
7T/30? TO xaOrjxov Te\o? 8ir)xpij3a>p,eva<;‘ irapci 
povoi<s yap toi5to<? oi Srjpioupyol iravier; oin’ 
ipyaaia? dXXrj<s oure iroXiTixi)<; t afew? peia- 
Xapftaveiv iwvrai irXrjv rrj? e/c twi' vopwv 
mpiapevT]<s xal irapd t&v yovemv irapaSeSopevi)<!, 
d><TT€ pijre SiSaaxdXov cfidovov pijre ttoXitixoik; 
irepioiraopous prji dXXo prjSev ep.iro8i£eiv 

7 ainmv rrjv et? Taura airouSrjV. irapd pev yap 
Tot? aWot? tSetf euTt toli? re^ftra? 7rept 7 to\\A 
t# Siavoia irepnrira)p,evou$ xal Sid tt)v irXeo- 
ve%iav prj p.evovras to mapdirav eirl tt)<s iSiai j 
ipyaaiar oi pev yap etfyaiTTOVTai yempyias, oi 
S' ipiropia<s xoivmvouaiv, oi Se Suolv rj t pimv 
Texvtov avTexovTai, irXeitJTOi S' ev t at? Srjpoxpa- 
Toupevai<s iroXeoiv et? ra? ixxXrjaia ? auvipe- 
%ofre? TJ;f /tev iroXneiav Xupaivoviai, to Si 


BOOK I. 74. 4-7 

by reason of their own interest in such matters; 
and the most astonishing fact is that, by reason of 
their unusual application to such matters, the men 
who ha ve charge of poultry and geese, in addition 
to producing them in the natural way known to all 
mankind, raise them by their own hands, by virtue 
of a skill peculiar to them, in numbers beyond 
telling; for they do not use the birds for hatching 
the eggs, but, in effecting this themselves artificially 
by their own wit and skill in an astounding manner, 
they are not surpassed by the operations of nature. 1 

Furthermore, one may see that the crafts also 
among the Egyptians are very diligently cultivated 
and brought to their proper development; for they 
are the only people where all the craftsmen are 
forbidden to follow any other occupation or belong to 
any other class of citizens than those stipulated by the 
laws and handed down to them from their parents, 
the resuit being that neither ill-will towards a teacher 
nor political distractions nor any other thing inter- 
feres with their interest in their work. For whereas 
among all other peoples it can be observed that the 
artisans are distracted in mind by many things, 
and through the desire to advance themselves do 
not stick exclusively to their own occupation; for 
some try their hands at agriculture, some dabble in 
trade, and some cling to two or three crafts, and 
in States having a democratic form of government 
vast numbers of them, trooping to the meetings of the 
Assembly, ruin the work of the government, while 
they make a profit for themselves at the expense of 

1 According to Aristotle (Historia Animalium, 6. 2) this 
artificial hatching was effected by burying the eggs in dung. 



XvaiTeXe; irepiirotovvTat irapa t&v pucrOoBo- 
tovvtcov irapa Se t ot? AlyvirTioi;, ei t t? tcoj/ 
TexytTeov peraa^oi Trj; iroXneia; fj Te%va; 
irXeiov; epya^otTo, peyaXai; irepiiriiTTei Tip.01- 

8 T^j/ /xej/ oJj/ Siaipeaiv Trj; iroXneia; xal tjjv 
Trj; iSia; t dgem; eiripeXeiav Sta irpoyovwv roiav- 
Tt]v etrxpv ol to iraXaiov ttjv Alyvmov /caroi- 

75. Ilepi Se to? xpicrei; ou rv^ovaav 
eiroiovvTO airovBtfv, rjyovpevoi rav ev toi; St/ca- 
aTrjpioi; diroefraaei; peyicrrrjv poirrjv t& xoivtS 

2 ySia) cjrepetv irpex; apspoTepa. BrjXov yap r/v oti 
t&v pev irapavopovvTorv xoXa^opevoiv, t&v S’ 
dSi/covpevcov ftorjdeia; rvy^avovrmv, dpiarr) Biop- 
Ooaai; earai t&v dpapnppdiwv ei S’ o <f>o/3o; 
o yivopevo; ex rwv xpLaeoiv t oi; irapavopovaiv 
avarpeiroiTO %prfp.acnv rj %dpiaiv, eaopAvpv 

3 ecopoiv tov xoivov /3iov avyyyaw. Btoirep ex 
t &v eirufiaveaidiwv iroXecov tov; apio tov; 
avBpa; dirobeixvvvTe; Bixaend; koivov; ovx 
dirervyxavov t rj; irpoaipeaem;. eg 'HXtov yap 
iroXeco; xal ®r]/3&v xal Mep,<f>ea>; Sexa Sixaard; 
e£ exaaTt}; irpoexpivov' xal tovto to avveSpiov 
ovx eBoxei Xeiireadai t&v ’ AOrjvrjaiv 'Apeoirayi- 
t&v r\ t&v irapa AaxeBaipovtot; yepovimv. 

4 iirel Se crvveXdoiev oi ipiaxovTa, eirexpivov 
eg eavT&v eva tov dpiaTov, xal tovtov pev 
dpxiBtxaaTrjv xaOicnavTo, ei; Se to tovtov tottov 

1 Speaking as an aristocrat, Diodorus is criticising the 
democracies of Greece, Athens in all probability being es- 
pecially in bis mind, where the citizens, according to him , leave 


BOOK I. 74. 7-75. 4 

others who pay them their wage, 1 yet among the 
Egyptians if any artisan should take part in public 
affairs orpursue several crafts he is severely punished. 

Such, then, were the divisions of the citizens, 
maintained by the early inhabitants of Egypt, and 
their devotion to their own class which they inherited 
from their ancestors. 

75. In their administration of justice the Egyptians 
also showed no merely casual interest, holding that 
the decisions of the courts exercise the greatest 
influence upon community life, and this in each 
of their two aspeets. For it was evident to them 
that if the offenders against the law should be 
punished and the injured parties should be afforded 
succour there would be an ideal correction of wrong- 
doing; but if, on the other hand, the fear which 
wrongdoers have of the judgments of the courts 
should be brought to naught by bribery or favour, 
they saw that the break-up of community life 
would follow. Consequently, by appointing the best 
men from the most important cities as judges over 
the whole land they did not fall short of the end 
which they had in mind. For from Heliopolis and 
Thebes and Memphis they used to choose ten judges 
from each, and this court was regarded as in no way 
inferior to that composed of the Areopagites at Athens 
or of the Elders 2 at Sparta. And when the thirty 
assembled they chose the best one of their number and 
made him chief justice, and in his stead the city sent 
their tasks to participate in the affairs of the state, apparently 
being paid by their employers while thus engaged and receiving 
an additional compensation from the state. 

2 The bodies were known as the Council of the Areopagus 
17 104 Ger0Usia res P ectivel y i the latter is desoribed in Book 

2 59 


drreareXkev r\ ttoXis erepov Bixaarijv. avvra^e/s 
8e ra>v dvay/caiwv rrapa rov fiaaiXea» 1 } rol 9 pev 
81/caarah licaval 717)09 8iarpo/f>rjv ixoprjyovvro, 
5 r& 8' upxiBiKaarfj rroWairXaaioi. etpopei 8 ’ 
00T09 irepl rbv rpdxrjXov i/c XP V<T V^ d\vaea)<; 
r/prrjpevov £w8iov r&v 7 roXvreX&v \'i 9 cov, o 
rrpoatjybpevov ’ A\ij 0 eiav. r&v 8' dp<biafir]rr)aea>v 
rjpX°vro irreiBav 1 rr]v tt)<; A\r) 0 eia<i ei/cova o 
8 dpx^icaurr )9 rrpoaOoiro. r&v 8e rrdvrcov vopcov 
ev / 3 ij 3 \ioi<; o/er& yeypappeva/v, /cai rovrccv 
rrapa/ceipeva>v T0t9 Bucacrrai 9 , eOos rjv rbv pev 
/carijyopov yparfrat tcad' ev &v eve/ca\ei /cai rr&<s 
767 ove /cai rrjv a^iav rov d8t/ojparo‘; rj rrj<{ 
/ 3 \dj 3 r)<}, rov drroXoyovpevov 8e \af 36 vra ro 
XpfjpanaOev viro r&v avnSi/ccov dvnypdip-cu 
777309 e/caarov 0)9 ovtc errpa^ev rj rrpd%a<i ov/c 
r/Si/crjaev rj d8t/c/jaa<; eXdrrovo^ typias afjios ian 
1 rvxeiv. erreira vbpipov rjv rbv /carr\yopov avri- 
ypayfrai /cai rraXiv rbv drroXoyovpevov dvnQeivau 
dp<f>orep<ov 8e r&v dvnSiiccov ra yeypappeva 8U 
TOi9 8ucaarai<; Bovratv, ro rtjvi/cavr ’ eSei rovs 
pev rpid/covra ra 9 yv&pa<; iv dXXijXois airofyai- 
veaOai, rbv apx&ucaarrjv 8e ro £&Siov 7-779 
, A\rj 9 eia<i rrpoari 9 ea 9 a/ rrj erepa r&v aptpiafii)- 

76 . T ovro) 8e r& rporra) 7-09 /cptaeis rrdaas 
avvreXelv rov 9 Alyvirriov<;, vopi^ovras e/e pev 
rov Xeyeiv rov<; avvr)yopov<; rroXXd toi<; 81/caioi 9 
imaKorrjaeiv /cai yap ra 9 rexvas r&v prjropcov 
/cai t rjv rfj<; vrroKpiaeavi yorjreiav /cai ra r&v 

1 ireiii) Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 75. 4-76. 1 

another judge. Allowances to provide for their needs 
were supplied by the king, to the judges sufficient for 
their maintcnance, and many times as much to the 
chief justice. The latter regularly wore suspended 
from his neck by a golden chain a small image made of 
precious stones, which they called Truth; the hearings 
of the pleas commenced whenever the chief justice 
put on the image of Truth. The entire body of 
the laws was written down in eight volumes which 
lay before the judges, and the custom was that the 
accuser should present in writing the particulars of 
his complaint, namely, the charge, how the thing 
happened, and the amount of injury or damage done, 
whereupon the defendant would take the document 
submitted by his opponents in the suit and reply in 
writing to each charge, to the effect either that he 
did not commit the deed, or, if he did, that he was 
not guilty of wrongdoing, or, if he was guilty of 
wrongdoing, that he should receive a lighter penalty. 
After that, the law required that the accuser should 
reply to this in writing and that the defendant 
should offer a rebuttal. And after both parties had 
twice presented their statements in writing to the 
judges, it was the duty of the thirty at once to 
declare their opinions among themselves and of the 
chief justice to place the image of Truth upon one 
or the other of the two pleas which had been 

76. This was the manner, as their account goes, in 
which the Egyptians conducted ali court proceed- 
ings, since they believed that if the advocates were 
allowed to speak they would greatly becloud the 
justice of a case; for they knew that the elever 
devices of orators, the cunning witchery of their 


KivSvvevovTtov Saicpva ttoXXov; irpoTpeireadai 
irapopav to t&v vopwv airoTopov /cal ttjv t?}? 
aXrjOeLat a/cplf 3 eiav decupeladai yovv tov; eirai- 
vovpevov; ev t& xpivetv 7 ToXXaKi; r) SC diraT-pv 
fj Sia. yfrv^aymyiav fj Sia to irpo; tov eXeov 
irdOo; <rvveic<j>epopevov<; t fj Svvapei t&v avvijyo- 
povvTcov' e/c Se tov ypdtpew ra Succua tov; 
dvTiSi/cov; oovto to? xpiaei; d/cpi/ 3 el<; eaeadai, 
yvpv&v t&v TrpaypMTcov Oetopovpevwv. ovtoj 
yap 1 paXlOTa pf\ T€ tov ? evfpvei; t&v ftpaSv- 
Tepmv irXeoveKrijcreiv pfjTe tov ? evr/dXrj/coTa; t&v 
aireipmv pfjTe tov ? ^evaTa; /cal ToXpr/pov; t&v 
<}>iXaXfj 0 cov /cal xaTeaTaXpevmv t 01; fj 6 eat, 
irdvTa; 8’ eir iarj; t evtfeaffai t&v Sucalaiv, 
ixavov ‘xpovov ex t&v vopwv Xapf 3 av 6 vT(t>v t&v 
pev olvtlSlkcov ifjeT daai t a irap' dXXijXmv, t&v 
Se Sucacn&v avyxplvai t a irap' apfyoTepwv. 

77. ’E7T€t Se t rj; vopodecria ? epvfjtrdrjpev, ovk 
dvobceiov elvai t fj; viroiceipevi,; loTopia; vopi- 
%opev exOeaBai t&v vopxov ocroi irapd toi; 
Alyvinioi; iraXaioTijTt, Sirjveyicav rj nraprfXXay- 
pevr/v tclI-iv eo’X 0V V T ° crvvoXov &<f>eXeiav t 01; 

(piXavayvaxTTOva-t, SvvavTai irapavXevOai. irp&- 
tov pev ovv /cara t&v emopicwv OdvaTo; r/v irap 
avTol; to irpotnipov, eo? Svo t a peyuna nroiovv- 
tcov dvopfjpara, 6eov ? ts daeffovvTcov /cal tt/v 

1 &k after yhp deleted by Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 76. 1-77- 2 

delivery, and the tears of the accused would influence 
many to overlook the severity of the laws and the 
strictness of truth; at any rate they were aware 
that men who are highly respected as judges are 
often carried away by the eloquence of the advo- 
cates, either because they are deceived, or because 
they are won over by the speaker’s charm, or because 
the emotion of pity has been aroused in them; 1 
but by having die parties to a suit present their 
pleas in writing, it was their opinion that the judg- 
ments would be striet, only the bare facts being 
taken into account. For in that case there would 
be the least chance that gifted speakers would have 
an advantage over the slower, or the well-practised 
over the inexperienced, or the audacious liars over 
those who were truth-loving and restrained in char¬ 
acter, but ali would get their just dues on an equal 
footing, since by the provision of the laws ample 
time is taken, on the one hand by the disputants for 
the examination of the arguments of the other side, 
and, on the other hand, by the judges for the com- 
parison of the allegations of both parties. 

77. Since we have spoken of their legislation, we 
feel that it will not be foreign to the plan of our 
history to present such laws of the Egyptians as 
were especially old or took on an extraordinary 
form, or, in general, can be of help to lovers of 
reading. Now in the first place, their penalty for 
perjurers was death, on the ground that such men 
are guilty of the two greatest transgressions—being 
impious towards the gods and overthrowing the 

1 It is interesting to observe that the Egyptians are sup- 
posed to be familiar with the weaknesses of the Attio conrts. 



peyiOTrjv twv irap avBpdnrois iriaTiv avarpe- 

3 ttovtwv. eirena et tis iv oSw /cara ttjv x™P av 
Ibwv (jpovevopevov dvBpwirov fj to KaBoXov /3laiov 
Tt Tracr^oPTa prj pvaano SvvaTOS wv, BavaTW 
irepiireaelv wtf>eiXev et Se irpos aXrjBeiav Sia to 
aSyvarov prj /caTiaxvaai /3or]&r)oai, prjvvaai ye 
irdvTWs dxjpeiXe tovs XrjOTas «ai evetjievai tt]v 
irapavoplav tov Se raCra pt] -rrpdgavTa «ara 
toi * * vopov eSei paaTiyovaBai TeTaypevas irXrjyas 
«ai irdatjs eipyeadai Tpo<f>rjs eVi Tpet? rjpepas. 

4 oi Se yfrevSws tivwv /caTrjyopijaavTes wtpeiXov 
tovto iraBelv o toi? avKoipavTrjOelaiv erera/CTo 
irpoaTipov, ehrep erv^ov KaTaSi/caaBevTes. 

5 TTpoaeTeTaKTO Se «ai iraai tois A.lyvirrlois 
airoypd<f>eoBai irpos tovs apxovTas diro tivwv 
etcaaTos iropi^eTai tov /3lov, «ai tok ei> tovtois 
yjrevaapevov ■>) irbpov dSucov eirneXovvTa BavaTW 
irepnrhneiv 7)v dvayxalov. XeyeTai Se tovtov 
tov vopov ^ viro "ZoXwvos irapaftaXovTos ei? 

6 KiyviTTOv eis Tas'A6rjvas peTevexBrjvai. et Se tis 
e/covalws diromeivai tov eXevBepov r) tov SovXov, 
diroBvija/ceiv tovtov oi vopoi irpoaeTaTTOv, apa 
pey fiovXopevoi prj t ais Siaij)opais t rjs tvxv?> aXXd 
Tais twv irpdljewv eiriftoXals elpyeaBai iravTas 
diro twv <f>avXwv, apa Se Sia t /?? twv SovXwv 
<f>povTiSos i&l&vTes tovs dvBpwirovs iroXv paXXov 
eis tovs eXevBepovs prjSev oXws e^apapTvveiv. 

1 Cp. Euripides, Medea, 412-13: 8ei,v S' ovk4t, wlara &pape 
pledge given in the name of the gods no longer standa 

* Cp. Herodotus, 2. 177: n Se dnofairorra Simtvv £oV 
(‘unless he proved that he had a just way of life”). 


BOOK I. 77. 2-6 

mightiest pledge known among men. 1 Again, if a 
man, walking on a road in Egypt, saw a person 
being killcd or, in a word, suffering any kind of 
violence and did not come to his aid if able to do 
so, he had to die; and if he was truly prevented 
from aiding the person because of inability, he was 
in any case required to lodge information against 
the bandits and to bring an action against their 
lawless act; and in case he failed to do this as the 
law required, it was required that he be scourged 
with a fixed number of stripes and be deprived of 
every kind of food for three days. Those who brought 
false accusations against others had to suffer the 
penalty that would have been meted out to the 
accused persons had they been adjudged guilty. 
All Egyptians were also severally required to submit 
to the magistrates a written declaration of the sources 
of their livelihood, and any man making a false declara¬ 
tion or gaining an unlawful means of livelihood 2 had 
to pay the death penalty. And it is said that Solon, 
after his visit to Egypt, brought this law to Athens. 3 
If anyone intentionally killed a free man or a slave 
the laws enjoined that he be put to death; for they, 
in the first place, wished that it should not be through 
the accidental differences in mens condition in life 
but through the principies governing their actions 
that all men should be restrained from evil deeds, 
and, on the other hand, they sought to accustom 
mankind, through such consideration for slaves, to 
refrain all the more from committing any offence 
whatever against freemen. 

* Herodotus (2. 177) makes the same statement, but 
Plutarch (Solon, 31), on the authority of Theophrastus, 
attributes a similar law, not to Solon, but to Peisistratus. 



7 Kai /cara pev t&v yovecov t&v dnoKreivavTtov 
ra t e/cva Odvarov pev oi>x Spitrav, fjfiepas Se 
t/ oei? Kal vvKTa<i Xaat avvescos r)v avayicaiov 
nepieiXrjtjjora'; tov ve/cpov vnopevetv <fiv\aKT)<; 
napeSpevoverrj<; SrfpocrLaf ov yap SUatov vne- 
X? jcf>0T) t o tov /3lov aTeplerKeiv tov<; tov /3iov t 019 
neutri SeStoKOTat, vovderijtrei Se paXXov Xvntjv 
ixoverrj Kai peTapeXeiav anorpeneiv t&v tolov- 

8 Ttov eyxeeprjp-uTtov KaTa Se t&v t eKvtov t&v 
yovelt tf>ovevtrdvTtov TtpwpLav e!;r]XXayp,evr)v edrj- 
Kav' eSei ydp tov? KaraSiKatrdevra^ ini tov- 
rot? /raXa/ioi? 6%etn SaKTvXtaia pep-rj tov tr&paTOt 
KaTaTpr)6evra<t en axav^ait xaTaxaetrOai £&vt a?' 
peyiaTov t&v ev avdp&noi<s aSexr/paTcov Kp(vovre<i 
t6 /3iaitu? to %rjv dtf>atpeitrdai t&v ttjv £a>rjv 

9 ainol<} SeStuKOTtov. t&v Se yvvaiK&v t&v /cara- 
SiKatrdeur&v OavaTtp ra? iyKvov<s prj OavaTovcrOai 
nplv av rexcoai. Kal tovto to vopipov noXXol 
Kal t&v' KXkrjvwv KaTeSeigav, rjyovpevot, navreX&s 
aSixov elvai to prjSev dSiKrjaav t& aSiKrjtravTi 
t r)s avTTjv perexeiv npcopCas, Kal napavoprjpaTo<t 
'evo<t yevopevov napa Svolv Xap/3aveiv to npotr- 
Tipjov, npo ? Se toutoi? /cara npoalpetriv novrjpdv 
erwTeXeadevTO<i tov dSiKrjpaTO<; to prjSepiav na> 
ovveoiv ex°v vno ttjv opotav ayeiv KoXatrtv, to 
Se navTtov peyioTOv, ori tcu? Kvovtraif ISia tj}? 
ama? enevrjveypevrj'; ovSap <»? npoarjKei to kolvov 

10 naTpo<s Kal prjTpbs tSkvov dvaipeltrdai’ en ttrrp; 
ydp av t t? <f>avXov<; SeaXdfioi Kpira<: tou? re tov 
evoxov t& tjrovep tr&£ovra<i Kal tou? to prjSev oXa>? 
aSiKrjtrav <rvvavaipovvTa<;. 


BOOK I. 77. 7-10 

In the case of parents who had slain their children, 
though the laws did not prescribe death, yet the 
offenders had to hold the dead body in their arms 
for three successive days and nights, under the sur- 
veillance of a state guard; for it was not considcred 
just to deprive of life those who had given life to 
their children, but rather by a waming which brought 
with it pain and repentance to tum them from such 
deeds. But for children who had killed their parents 
they reserved an extraordinary punishment; for it 
was required that those found guilty of this crime 
should have pieces of flesh about the size of a finger 
cut out of their bodies with sharp reeds and then be 
put on a bed of thoms and bumed alive; for they 
held that to take by violence the life of those who 
had given them life was the greatest crime possible 
to man. Pregnant women who had been condemned 
to death were not exeeuted until they had been 
delivered. The same law has also been enacted by 
many Greek States, since they held it entirely unjust 
that the innocent should suffer the same punishment 
as the guilty, that a penalty should be exacted of 
two for only one transgression, and, further, that, 
since the crime had been actuated by an evil inten- 
tion, a being as yet without intelligence should re- 
ceive the same correction, and, what is the most 
important consideration, that in view of the fact 
that the guilt had been laid at the door of the preg¬ 
nant mother it was by no means proper that the child, 
who belongs to the father as well as to the mother, 
should be despatehed; for a man may properly 
consider judges who spare the life of a murderer to 
be no worse than other judges who destroy that 
which is guilty of no crime whatsoever. 



L1 T&v pev ovv (povuc&v vopwv oi paXierra So- 
Kovvres emrerevxdai roiovroi rives paav. 

78. T&v S' aXXtov 6 pev 7 repi r&v rroXepmv 
/ceifievos KdTCl T&V TTjV rdtjiv XlTTOVTUV fj TO 
rrapayyeXdev vtto r&v pyepovtov prj rroiovvrav 
erane rrpoanpov ov ddvarov, dXXa rr/v eaxdrpv 

2 aripiav ei S’ varepov rais avSpayadiais vrrep- 
ftdXoivro rds dripCas, eis rpv rrpovrrdp^aaav 
rrappperiav drroKadiara, apa pev rov vopoderov 
Seivorepav ripiopiav rroiovvros r rjv dripiav fj r ov 
ddvarov, iva ro peyiarov rcov tcatciov eOiap 
rrdvras Kplveiv rrjv aia^vvr)v, apa Se rovs pev 
davarcodevras fjyeiro prjSev oxfreXrjaeiv rov koivov 
/ 3 iov, rovs Se dnpatdevras dyadoiv ttoXXcov 
airiovs eaeaOai Sia r tjv emOvpiav rijs rrapprjaias. 

3 Kai rS>v pev ra arropprjra rois woXepiois array- 
yeiXdvrcov errer an ev 6 vopos itcrepveadai rfjv 
yXtorrav, r&v Se rb vopiapa rrapaicomovreov fj 
perpa nai aradpa rraparroiovvrcov fj rrapayXv- 
<j> 6 vra>v reis <r<f>payiSas, eri Se r&v ypapparecov 
r&v yjrevSels XP T )f iaTLa 'f J ‘ 0 v’> ypa<povra>v fj a<pai- 
povvrtov r i r&v eyyeypappevcov, /cai r&v rds 
ifrevSeis <rvyypa(j>as emfpepovrtov, apxporepas 
e/ceXevcrev drroKorrrecrdai ras %e2pa?, ornos ols 
eieacrros pepeai rov a & par os rrapevbp-qaev, eis 
ravra tcoXa^bpevos avros pev pe%pi reXevrrjs 
aviarov exp rpv avpQopdv, rovs S' aXXovs Sia 
rfjs iSlas r ipeopias vovder&v drrorperrrj r&v 
bpoirov n rrpaneiv. 

1 The significanoe of this word, which summed up as well 
as any the ideal of Greek freedom and of the Athenian 
democracy, cannot be included in a single phrase. It im- 

BOOK I. 77. 11-78. 3 

Now of the laws dealing with murder these are 
those which are thought to have been the most 

78. Among their other laws one, which concerned 
military affairs, made the punishment of deserters or 
of any who disobeyed the command of their leaders, 
not death, but the uttermost disgrace; but if later 
on such men wiped out their disgrace by a display of 
manly courage, they were restored to their former 
freedom of speech. 1 Thus the lawgiver at the same 
time made disgrace a more terrible punishment than 
death, in order to accustom all the people to consider 
dishonour the greatest of evils, and he also believed 
that, while dead men would never be of value to 
society, men who had been disgraced would do many 
a good deed through their desire to regain freedom 
of speech. In the case of those who had disclosed 
military secrets to the enemy the law prescribed that 
their tongues should be cut out, while in the case of 
counterfeiters or falsifiers of measures and weights 
or imitators of seals, and of official scribes who made 
false entries or erased items, and of any who adduced 
false documents, it ordered that both their hands 
should be cut off, to the end that the offender, being 
punished in respect of those members of his body 
that were the instruments of his wrongdoing, should 
himself keep until death his irreparable misfortune, 
and at the same time, by serving as a waming example 
to others, should tum them from the commission of 
similar offences. 

plied that a man was as good aa any other, that he could 
hold np his head among his fellows. “ Position of self. 
respect and equality” is approximately what it means in 
tbis sentence and the following. 



4 Th/cpol Se /cal irepl t&v yvvauc&v vopoi irap' 
avTols virrjpxov. tov pev ydp (3ia.aapi.kvQV 
yvvai/ca eXevOepav irpoakratjav diro/coirTeaOai 
tA alSoia, vopiaavre<; tov toiovtov pia irpdljei 
irapavopcp rpLa ra. peyiaTa t&v /ca/c&v evrjpyrj- 
/ckvai, rr)v vfipiv /cal ttjv <j>dopav /cal t rjv t&v 
6 Te/cvarv avyxyaiv ei Se t m ireiaat poixevaai, tov 
p.ev dvSpa pa(3boi<; irXr]yk<} Xapfidveiv 

e/ceXevov, Trjt Se yvvai/co<; ttjv piva /coXofiovaOai, 
viroXap/3dvovTe<; Seiv 7rpos davyx&prjTov 

a/cpaaiav /caXXaririZopievr)? a/paipeOrjvai tA pa- 
XiaTa /coapovvTa t rjv evirpeireiav. 

79. Toi/? Se Trepl t&v avp/3oXaicov vopu>v<s 
Bo«^optSos elvai <j>aai. irpoaraTTOvai Se t ous 
pev aavyypacfia Saveiaapkvov<;, av per/ (pdia/ccaaiv 
ocjreiXeiv, opoaavTa<s diroXveadai tov Savelov, 
Trp&Tov pev onco? ev peydXcp Tidepevoi tov<s op/cov >j 
2 SeiaiSaipov&ai' irpoSrjXov ydp ovto<s oti t& 
iroXXa/cu; opoaavTi avpfirjaeTai ttjv iriaTiv diro- 
paXelv, iva tt)? evxprjGTias prj aTeprjdr), irepl irXei- 
aTov iras Tt ? ctgei 1 to prj /caTavTav eirl tov op/cov • 
eireiO vireXd p(3avev o vopodeTrjt ttjv oXrjv iriariv 
ev tt) /caXo/cdyaOLa iroujaas irpOTperjreadai irdvTa<s 
airovSaiowi elvai Tolt rjOeaiv, iva per) iriaTeax; 
avaljioi SiaftXrjOcoaf irpo<i Se tovtoi<; dSi/cov e/epivev 
elvai t oi/<! ^copi? op/cov iriaTevOevTa<i irepl t&v 
avTcov avp/3 oXauov opoaavrat pi) Tvyxdveiv 
iriaTeax;. tov<s Se pera avyypa^>rj<s SaveiaavTat 

1 Cobet : 


Cp. chap. 65. 

BOOK I. 78. 4-79. 2 

Severe also were their laws touching women. For 
if a man had violated a free married woman, they 
stipulated that he be emasculated, considering that 
such a person by a single unlawful act had been guilty 
of the three greatest crimes, assault, abduction, and 
confusion of offspring; but if a man committed 
adultery with the woman’s consent, the laws ordered 
that the man should receive a thousand blows with 
the rod, and that the woman should have her nose cut 
off, on the ground that a woman who tricks hersel f 
out with an eye to forbidden licence should be 
deprived of that which contributes most to a woman ’s 

79. Their laws governing contracts they attribute 
to Bocchoris. 1 These prescribe that men who had 
borrowed money without signing a bond, if they 
denied the indebtedness, might take an oath to that 
effect and be cleared of the obligation. The purpose 
was, in the first place, that men might stand in awe 
of the gods by attributing great importance to oaths, 
for, since it is manifest that the man who has re- 
peatedly taken such an oath will in the end lose the 
confidence which others had in him, everyone will 
consider it a matter of the utmost concem not to 
have recourse to the oath lest he forfeit his credit. 
In the second place, the lawgiver assumed that by 
basing confidence entirely upon a man’s sense of 
honour he would incite all men to be virtuous in 
character, in order that they might not be talked 
about as being unworthy of confidence ; and, further- 
more, he held it to be unjust that men who had been 
trusted with a loan without an oath should not be 
trusted when they gave their oath regarding the 
same transaction. And whoever lent money along 


e/cdiXve Sta tov tokov to ice<f)dXaiov irXeov iroteiv 
fj StirXdaiov. 

3 T&v Se otpetXovrtov t fjv etcirpa%iv t&v Savettov 
eK rrjs ovatas ptovov eirot^aaro, to Se a&pta icar' 
ovSeva rpoirov etaaev virdpxetv ay&ytpLOV, rjyov- 
ptevos Seiv elvat ras ptev Krrjaets t&v ipyaaaptevtov 
fj irapa icvpiov rivos iv Stopeats Xafiovrcov, rd Se 
a&ptara t&v iroXetov, tva t as Kaffrj/covaas Xet- 
t ovpytas excoatv ai iroXets /eai icard iroXeptov tcai 
icar elpfjvrjv aroirov yap to 1 arpaTi&Trjv eis 
tov virep Ttjs irarpiSos irpotovTa kIvSvvov, el 
rvxoi, rrpos Savetov viro tov maTevaavTOS aira- 
yeadat, /cal rfjs t&v iSicot&v rrXeoveijias evetca 

4 KivSvvevetv rfjv Koivrjv airdvTwv atoTqpiav. Sotcei 
Se /cal tovtov tov voptov 6 lEoXcov eis t as 'Adijvas 
ptereveytcetv, ov &vofiaae aetaaxdetav, airoXvaas 
tovs rroXiras arravTas t&v eirt tois a&ptaat irem- 

5 arevptevcov Savettov. peptpovTai Se Ttves ovk 
aXoycos tois 7r Xetarots t&v irapa rois "E XXrjat 
voptode t&v, oTrives oirXa ptev icat aporpov icat 
aXXa t&v dvay/caioTaTtov hc&Xvaav evex^pa 
XaptftaveaOat irpos Savetov, tovs Se tovtois XP 1 !' 
aoptevovs ovvex&p r } aa v aytoytptovs elvat. 

80. ' Tirrjpxe Se icat irepl t&v icXeirr&v voptos 
irap AiyvirTtois ISt&Taros. eiceXeve yap tovs 
ptev 2 /SovXopevovs ex elv Tavrrjv rrjv ipyaaiav 

1 Tb Bekker : t iv. 

* nbv Dindorf: /tr) D, omitted by all other MSS. 

1 The famous Seisachlheia (“ shaking off of burdens **) of 
Solon in 694 B.o. declared void existing pledges in land, 


BOOK I. 79. 2-80. 1 

with a written bond was forbidden to do more than 
double the principal from the interest. 

In the case of debtors the lawgiver ruled that the 
repayment of loans could be exacted only from a 
man’s estate, and under no condition did he allow 
the debtors person to be subject to seizure, holding 
that whereas property should belong to those who had 
amassed it or had received it from some earlier holder 
by way of a gift, the bodies of citizens should belong 
to the state, to the end that the state might avail 
itself of the Services which its citizens owed it, in 
times of both war and peace. For it would be absurd, 
he felt, that a soldier, at the moment pcrhaps when 
he was setting forth to fight for his fatherland, should 
be haled to prison by his creditor for an unpaid loan, 
and that the greed of private citizens should in this 
way endanger the safety of all. And it appears that 
Solon took this law also to Athens, calling it a “ dis- 
burdenment,” 1 when he absolved all the citizens of 
the loans, secured by their persons, which they owed. 
But certain individuals find fault, and not without 
reason, with the majority of the Greek lawgivers, 
who forbade the taking of weapons and ploughs and 
other quite indispensable things as security for loans, 
but nevertheless allowed the men who would use 
these implements to be subject to imprisonment. 

80. The Egyptian law dealing with thieves was 
also a very peculiar one. For it bade any who chose 
to follow this occupation to enter their names with 

granted freedom to all men enslaved for debt, and probably 
cancelled all debts which involved any form of personal 
Bervitude, by these measures effecting the complete freedom 
of all debt slaves or debt serfa in Attica (cp. Adcook in The 
Carribridge Ancient HUtory, 4. p. 37 f.). 



drroypacf/eaOat rrpot rov dpxttfxopa, KaX ro /cXairev 
opoXoycot avaifiepetv rrapaxprjpa rrpot exetvov, 
rovt Se arroXerravrat rraparrXr)<jta>t arroypdifieiv 
avrcp Kaff e/taarov r&v drroXmXorcov, irpoart- 
ffevrat rov re rdrrov icat rrjv f/pepav /cat rrjv 

2 cbpav Kaff fjv arr&Xeaev. 1 rovrrp Se rg> rpdrrtp 
rravrmv erotpcot evptaKopevmv, eSet rov arroXe- 
aavra ro reraprov pepo? rrjt agtas Sovra kt/j- 
aaaOat rd eavrov pova. aSvvarov ydp ovrot 
rov rrdvrat drroarr\aat rrjt KXorrrjt evpe rrbpov 6 
vopoOerrjt St ov rrdv ro drroXdpevov awOrjaerat 
ptKp&v StSopeva/v Xvrpcov. 

3 Yapovat Se rrap' KtyvrrrioKs oi pev tepett 
ptav, r&v S’ aXXcov oaat dv eKacrrot rrpoatpr/rai’ 
Kat rd yevv&peva rrdvra rpetpovcriv eg avayKrjt 
eveKa rrjt rroXvavO pcorrtat, &t ravr/jt peytara 
<rvp/3aXXopevt)t rrpot evSatpovtav ^copa? re Kat 
rroXecov, voffov S’ ovSeva r&v yevvijBevrcov vopt- 
£ovaiv, oi/S' dv eg apyvpwvqrov pt}rpo<s yevvrj0fj- 

4 KajBoXov ydp vrretXijifiaai rov rrarepa pdvov 
atrtov etvai rrjt yeveaewt, rrjv Se prjrepa rpo<f)tfv 
Kat X ( *P av TrapexevOat rep /3pe<j>et, Kat r&v Sev- 
Spcov dppeva pev KaXovai rd Kaprro<f>opa, OrfXea 
Sk rd prj <j>epovra rovt Kaprrovt, ivavrtmt rott 

6 "EXXi/irt. rpe(f>ovat Se rd rratSta pera rtvot 
exr)(epetat aSarravov Kat rravreX&t drrtarov' 
e-^rrjpara yap avrott xpprjyovatv e/c rtvot per’ 

1 imiXurtv A B D, Vogel: Air &\*trav Bekker, Dindorf, 
kittPaht II. 


BOOK I. 8o. 1-5 

the Chief of the Thieves and by agreement to bring 
to him immediately the stolen articles, while any who 
had been robbed filed with him in like manner a list 
of all the missing articles, stating the place, the day, 
and the hour of the loss. And since by this method 
all lost articles were readily found, the owner who 
had lost anything had only to pay one-fourth of its 
value in order to recover just what belonged to him. 
For as it was impossible to keep all mankind from 
stealing, the lawgiver devised a scheme whereby 
every article lost would be recovered upon payment 
of a small ransom. 

In accordance with the marriage-customs of the 
Egyptians the priests ha ve but one wife, but any other 
man takes as many as he may determine; 1 and the 
Egyptians are required to raise all their children 
in order to increase the population, 2 on the ground 
that large numbers are the greatest factor in increas- 
ing the prosperity of both country and cities. Nor 
do they hold any child a bastard, even though he 
was bom of a slave mother ; for they have taken the 
general position that the father is the sole author 
of procreation and that the mother only supplies 
the fetus with nourishment and a place to live, and 
they call the trees which bear fruit “ male ” and those 
which do not “ female,” exactly opposite to the Greek 
usage. They feed their children in a sort of happy- 
go-lucky fashion that in its inexpensiveness quite 
surpasses belief; for they serve them with stews 

1 According to Herodotus (2. 92) rnonogarny was the 
prevailing custom, but he was certainly in error so far as the 
wealthier classes were ooneemed. 

2 i.e. the exposure of children, which was stili practised 
among some Greeks in Diodorus’ day, was forbidden. 



euTeXeta? hoipov 1 yivopeva, Kal t&v e/c t?;? 
fiv[i\ov Trvdpeveov tou? Svvapevov ? ei? to Trup 
eyKpufteadai, Kal t&v pt^&v Kal t&v Kav\&v t&v 
eKeiwv t h pev iipa, ra 8' e^jrov Te?, tcl 8’ ov t&vt€s, 

6 8i8oa<riv. avvToSrjTwv Se Kal yvpv&v t&v v\e£- 
<tto)v Tpe(f>opev(ov Sia tijv evKpaalav t&v tovcov, 
tt)v vacrav Savavrjv ol yovels, a%pt, av ei? rfXiKiav 
e\0i) to tskvov, ov vXelo) voiovai 8pa%p&v eiKoai. 
Si a? ama? pdXiaTa ttjv AXyvvTOv avpfiaivei 
voXvavdptovia 8ta<f>epeiv, Kal Sta tovto vXelaTas 
e^eiv peyaXcov epyoav «axaa/ceua?. 

81 . IlatSeuouai Se tow? wou? ol pev lepefa 
ypdppaTa Sittcl, t& t€ lepa KaXovpeva Kal t a 
KOivoTepav e%oi/ra tt/v padpcnv. yewpeTplav Se 

2 Kal tt)V apidprjTiKrjv evl vXeov eKvovovaiv. 6 
pev yap voTapos /tax’ eviavTov voikIXoh; peTa- 
a-)(i)paTifyov tt)v 'X&pav i ro\\a? Kal iravToia<i 
ap<f>io-fir)Tii<Tei<s voiel vepl t&v opcov toi? yeiTvi&ai, 
xaura? 8’ ov paSiov d,Kpi/3&<; egeXeygai pt) yeoi- 
perpov tt)v dXijdeiav £k tt}<; epveipla ? pedo8ev- 

3 crauro?. 17 S’ apiffprjTiKT) 77 -po? re t a? «ara tou 
/Siou oiKovopla<; awToi? xpticnpevei Kal vpo<s t a 
yewpeTpias Oeoipr/paTa, irpo ? Se towtoi? owt oXlya 
aup/SaWeTaL Kal roi? Ta 7rept ttjv daTpoXoylav 

4 eKvovovaiv. evipeXov<: 2 yap, ei *ai t rapa tictiv 

1 t 467- * evre\e(as 4rotfiov Capps : ciireXelas (TotfiTjs. 
a {ictfitAovs Dindorf : 

1 There were, in faet, three kinds of Egyptian writing, (1) 
the hieroglyphic, (2) the hieratic, and (3) the demotio, the last 


BOOK I. 80. 5“8 i . 4 

made of any stuff that is ready to hand and cheap, 
and give them such stalks of the SyWos piant as can 
be roasted in the coals, and the roots and stcms of 
marsh plants, either raw or boiled or baked. And 
since most of the children are reared without shoes 
or clothing because of the mildness of the climate 
of the country, the entire expense incurred by the 
parents of a child until it comes to maturity is not 
more than twenty drachmas. These are the leading 
reasons why Egypt has such an extraordinarily 
large population, and it is because of this fact that 
she possesses a vast number of great monuments. 

81 . In the education of their sons the priests 
teach them two kinds of writing, that which is called 
“ sacred ” and that which is used in the more general 
instruction. 1 Geometry 2 and arithmetic are given 
special attention. For the river, by changing the 
face of the country each year in manifold ways, gives 
rise to many and varied disputes between neighbours 
over their boundary lines, and these disputes cannot 
be easily tested out with any exactness unless a 
geometer works out the truth scientifically by the 
application of his experience. And arithmetic is 
serviceable with reference to the business affairs 
connected with making a living and also in applying 
the principies of geometry, and likewise is of no 
small assistance to students of astrology as well. 
For the positions and arrangements of the stars as 

being that in general use in the time of Diodorus. In common 
with Herodotus (2. 36), Diodorus fails to distinguish between 
the first and second. 

* Here “geometry” is used in its original meaning, 

| “ measurement of the earth,” and “ geometer ” below means 

“ surveyor.” 



aXXois, Kal irap' Alyvirnois tt aparrjptjaecos 
Tuyxdvovaiv ai r&v aarpwv rameis re Kal Kivijtreis’ 
Kal t<x? pev 1 irepl eKaarwv avayparfrds eg £tcov 
airianov t£> irXrjdei tfrvXdrrovaiv, £k iraXaiwv 
Xpovcov e^rjXmpevrjs irap’ avrols rrjs 7 repi ravra 
airovSrjs, ra? Se 2 rS>v irXavijnov aarepcov Kivijaeis 
Kal irepioSovs Kal arrjpiypovs, en Se ra? eKaarov 
Svvdpeis irpos ra? rmv %a>wv yeveaeis, rivcov eialv 
ayaff&v rj KaKwv arrepyaariKai, <frik.onp.OT ara 

5 TrapareTr]prjKa<TL. Kal iroXXaKis pev rot? avOpa- 
Troi? rd>v avrois peXXovrwv aTravrijaeadai Karh 
rov fiiov rrpoXeyovres emrvy^dvovenv, ovk 
oXiyaKis Se Kapir&v (frdopas rj rovvavriov ttoXv- 
Kapirias, en Se voaovs Koivas avQpdrrois rj 
fioaKr/paaiv eaopevas irpocrrjpaivovai, aeicrpovs re 
Kal KaraKXvapovs Kal Koprjrwv aarepcov eiri- 
roXas Kal 7 ravra ra rot? iroXXols aSvvarov e%eiv 
SoKovvra rrjv eiriyvwaiv, £k ttoXXov xpovov 3 

6 iraparrjpjjaews yeyevrjpevrjs, irpoyivwaKovai. <fraoi 
Se Kal rovs ev BafivX&vi XaXSaiovs, drroiKovs 
Aiyvirnav ovras, rrjv So^av e^eiv rrjv irepl rrjs 
aar poXoyias irapd ru>v iepetov paOovras r&v 

7 To S' aXXo nXrjOos ra>v Alyvirncov £k iraiStov 
pavddvei irapa rSiv irarepwv rj avyyevwv tus 
irepl eKaarov fiiov eirirrjSevaeis, KaOdirep irpoei- 
prjKapev’ ypappMra S’ eir oXiyov SiSatrKoucriv* 
oi>x diravres, a,XX’ ol ras re%i/a? pera^cipi^o- 
pevoi pdXiara. iraXaiarpav Se Kal povaiKrjv 

I fiiv omitted by F, Bekker, Dindorf. 

II St Vogel: r«. 

* irok\ov xpirov Bekker, Yogel: ir o\vxpor(ov F, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 81. 4-7 

well as their motions have always been the subject 
of careful observation among the Egyptians, if any- 
where in the world; they have preserved to this day 
the records concerning each of these stars over an 
incredible number of years, this subject of study 
having been zcalously preserved among them from 
ancient times, and they have also observed with the 
utmost avidity the motions and orbits and stoppings 
of the planets, as well as the influences of each one 
on the generation of all living things—the good or 
the evil eifects, namely, of which they are the cause. 
And while they are often successful in predicting to 
men the events which are going to befall them in the 
course of their lives, not infrequently they foretell 
destructions of the crops or, on the other hand, 
abundant yields, and pestilences that are to attack 
men or beasts, and as a resuit of their long observa- 
tions they have prior knowledge of earthquakes and 
floods, of the risings of the comets, and of all things 
which the ordinary man looks upon as beyond all 
finding out. And according to them the Chaldaeans 
of Babylon, being colonists from Egypt, enjoy the 
fame which they have for their astrology because they 
leamed that Science from the priests of Egypt. 

As to the general mass of the Egyptians, they are 
instructed from their childhood by their fathers or 
kinsmen in the practices proper to each manner of 
life as previously described by us ; 1 II but as for reading 
and writing, the Egyptians at large give their 
children only a superficial instruction in them, and 
not all do this, but for the most part only those who 
are engaged in the crafts. In wrestling and music, 
1 Cp. chaps. 43,70, 74. 

4 tiSivKOVTai Reiske, Bekker, Dindorf. 



ov vopipov eaTL irap avToti pavOaveip' viro- 
XapfSapovari yap e* pep ra>v tcaO' rjpepap ev 
t fj TTaXaiarpa yvpvaalwv tou? veovs ovv 
vyieiap egeiv, aXXa ptoprjv oXiyoxpoviop kcu 
irapTeXa><; eiruclv&vvov, ttjp Se povaiKpv vopi- 
govaiv ov povov axpyoTOV virapxeiv, aXXa /eal 
/SXafiepdp, a>? 1 iicBifXvvovoav t a? t u>v aKovoPTcop 

82. Ta? Se poaovs irpoKaTa.Xap.fSap6p.epoi 
Oepairevovoi t a acopara /cXvapois Kal prjOTeiais 
Kal eperof;, epLore pep Kad' e/cdaTtjp rjpepav, 
epiOTe Se rpeis rj rerrapa? 17/iepa? SiaXeLiroPTes. 
<f>aal yap irdarips t potpr)? diaSoBelar)^ to irXeop 
elvai irepiTTOP, d<f> ov yeppacrOai ra? poaovi" 
dxTTe tt)P irpoeipijpeprjv Oepairelav dvaipovaav 
t a? ap^a? t?}? voaov paXiar ap irapaaKevdoat, 
ttjp vyieiav. «ara Se r a? a-rpareia? /tat ra; 
eVi 2 t% ^topa? eKSrjpia<; Oepairevoprai irdpre ? 
ovSepa piardop ISLa SiSoprei' oi yap lar pol ra? 
/iff t poifias e/c tov koivov XapfSapovoi, Ta? Se 
Bepaireiws irpoadyovai Kara popop eyypa<f>op, 
viro 3 ttoXXcop Kal SeSo^aapevcop larptbp apyaLoip 
avyyeypappepop. Kav t oi? e’« t^? ('epa? fiifiXov 
popois apayiPcoaKopepoi<} aKoXovdiqaavTei dSv- 
paTrjacoai oaxrai rop Kapvovra, d6<poi irapros 
eyKXr)paro<; airoXvoPTai, edv Se ti irapa ra 
yeypappepa iroirjaoxri, Baparov Kpiaip viropepov- 
aip, i)yovpepov tov vopoffeTov t^? £k ttoXXwp 
XPopcop irapaTerrjprjpevrj^ Bepairela? Kal avpTe- 

1 hv after is deleted by Hertlein. 

2 hrl omittcd by F, Bekker, Dindorf. 

* imb Dindorf : airi. 


BOOK I. 81. 7-82. 3 

however, it is not customary among them to receive 
any instruction at all ; 1 for they hold that from the 
daily exercises in wrestling their young men will gain, 
not health, but a vigour that is only temporary and 
in fact quite dangerous, while they consider music 
to be not only useless but even harmful, since it 
makes the spirits of the listeners effeminate. 

82. In order to prevent sicknesses they look after 
the health of their bodies by means of drenches, 
fastings, and emetics, 2 sometimes every day and some- 
times at intervals of three or four days. For they 
say that the larger part of the food taken into the 
body is superfluous and that it is from this superfluous 
part that diseases are engendered; consequently 
the treatment just mentioned, by removing the be- 
ginnings of disease, would be most likely to produce 
health. Ontheirmilitarycampaignsandtheirjourneys 
in the country they all receive treatment without 
the payment of any private fee; for the physicians 
draw their support from public funds and administer 
their treatments in accordance with a written law 
which was composed in ancient times by many 
famous physicians. If they follow the rules of this 
law as they read them in the sacred book and yet 
are unable to save their patient, they are absolved 
from any charge and go unpunished; but if they go 
contrary to the law’s prescriptions in any respect, 
they must submit to a trial with death as the penalty, 
the lawgiver holding that but few physicians would 
ever show themselves wiser than the mode of treat¬ 
ment which had been closely followed for a long 

1 Diodorus is contrasting the Egyptian attitude toward 
these subjects with the emphasis laid upon them in Greek 

2 Cp. Herodotus 2. 77. 



TayfievT}<{ viro twv dpiarwv TexviT&v oXlyov<; av 
yeveadat avveTWTepov<i. 

83. II epl Se twv dtfnepwpevwv £wwv KaT 
AtyvirTov et/coT®? (fialveTai iroXXot? irapaSotjov 
t o yivopevov Kal ^rjr^aew^ agtov. creftovTcu yap 
evta twv £wwv AlyviTTtot tcaff virep/3oXr)v ov 
%wvt a povov, aXXd xal TeXevrijaavTa, olov 
atXovpovi Kal too? l)(vevp,ova<; Kal xvva<}, eri 
S’ iepaKa<s Kal t<x? KaXov pevas irap ainotf tfie i?, 
7T/JO? Se TOOTOl? TOO? T6 XvKOV< i Kal TOU? KpOKO- 
SetXov ? Kal erepa TOiaiiTa irXelw, irepl wv t a? 
aiVia? airoSiSovat iret.pacr6p.e8a, /3pa%ea irporepov 
virep av twv SteXOov Te?. 

UpwTOv pev yap eKaaiw yevet twv aef 3 aapov 
Tvy^avovTwv £wwv acftiepwTat, %<o/3a tf>epovaa 
irpocroSov dpKOvaav et? eirtp.eXei.av Kal Tpocftrjv 
av twv' irotovvTat Se Kal Oeoi<; Ttatv ei^a? virep 
twv iralSwv ol KaT AtyvirTov twv eK t/]? vocrov 
crwdevTwv ^vpijaav Te? yap t a? Tpt^a? Kal irpo<{ 
apyvptov rj xpvatov UTtjcravTes StSoaat t o vo- 
pttrpa t ot? eirtpeXopevot<i twv irpoetprjpevwv 
£wwv. ol Se t oi? pev lepadi Kpea KaTaTepvovTe<s 
Kal irpotTKaXovpevoi peydXp t rj cfiwvrj ireTopevois 
dvappliTTovcri, pfypt av Sei-wvTat, toi? S' atXov- 
poi? xal t oi? Ixyevpotn KaraOpvirTovTe 1 ; toi)? 
apToo? ei’? 7a\a /cai iroirirv^ovTe<s irapaTtdeacnv 
17 t®i» lyBvwv twv eK t ov NelXov KaTaTepvovTeg 
wpw<! crtTt^ovcriv' waavTw<; Se xal twv aXXwv 
£wwv eKaaTW yevet ttjv appoKpvaav Tpofyrjv x°PV~ 
yovat. t<)? Se ytvopevas irepl TavTa XetTovpyla<i 
ovx olov eKKblvovatv tj toi? o%\oi? yeveaOat 

BOOK I. 82. 3-83. 4 

period and had been originally prescribed by the 
ablest practitioners. 

83. As regards the consecration of animals in 
Egypt, the practice naturally appears to many to be 
extraordinary and worthy of investigation. For the 
Egyptians venerate certain animals exceedingly, not 
only during their lifetime but even after their deatli, 
such as cats, 1 ichneumons and dogs, and, again, hawks 
and the birds which they call “ ibis,” as well as wolvcs 
and crocodiles and a number of other animals of that 
kind, and the reasons for such worship we shall 
undertake to set forth, after we have first spoken 
briefly about the animals themselves. 

In the first place, for each kind of animal that is 
accorded this worship there has been consecrated a 
portion of land which returns a revenue sufficient for 
their care and sustenance ; moreover, the Egyptians 
make vows to certain gods on behalf of their children 
who have been delivered from an illness, in which 
case they shave off their hair and weigh it against 
silver or gold, and then give the money to the 
attendants of the animals mentioned. These cut up 
flesh for the hawks and calling them with a loud cry 
toss it up to them, as they swoop by, until they catch 
it, while for the cats and ichneumons they break 
up bread into milk and calling them with a clucking 
sound set it before them, or else they cut up fish 
caught in the Nile and feed the flesh to them raw; 
and in like manner each of the other kinds of animals 
is provided with the appropriate food. And as for the 
various Services which these animals require, tlie 
Egyptians not only do not try to avoid them or feel 

1 The famous discussion of the cats of Egypt is in 
Herodotus, 2. 66-7. 



icaTacj)aP€i<s eiraiaxvvovTcu, TobvavTtov 8’ w? 
irepl 1 Ta<s p.eyl&Ta<; t&v 0e&v yivopevoi Tip.a<; 
aeptvvvovrai ical fiercl arjfieLmv Ihiwv ireptepxovTat 
T^9 Trokeis KCtl TT]V X^lOttV. ITOppwdeV 8’ OVT€ 5 
<f>avepoi tLvwv £a>a>v e^oixri rrjv eiripteXeiav, viro 
t&v airavT&VTWv 2 irpoaicvvovvTai ical Tip.&VTai. 

5 "O rav 8’ airo8dvy ti t&v elpijptevwv, aivhovi 
KaTaicd\v\{ravTe<s ical p-er olp.wyr)<; rd aTr)0r) 
KaTair\r]^dp.evot <j>epovaiv el<s to? rapt^eia? - 
eireiTa depairevd evTwv avT&v icehpia ical tok 
hvva/iivoK evwhiav irapexea0ai ical iroXvxpoviov 
tov trd>p.aTO<} TTjpijaiv 0dirTovatv ev tepais 8r)icai<;. 

6 o? 8’ av tovtwv ti r&v %u'wv eicwv hiatf>8eipr), 
davdrrp ireptirlirTet, irXrjv eav atkovpov fj T V V 
1/3iv diroKTeivr)■ Taxna he eav Te eicwv eav Te 
a,KCOv diroKTeivr), iravTW<; 0avaTW irepiiriirTei, 
t&v SxXwv avvrpexovTmv ical tov irpatjavTa 
BeivoTaTa hiaTi0evTwv, Kcii tovt evloTe irpaT- 

7 tovtwv avev Kpicreco<s. hia he tov eirl toutoi? 
( pofiov ol Oeaaafievoi Te0vi)ic6<; ti tovtwv t&v 
J &wvairoaTavTe<; puucpav fio&aw ohvpoptevoi Te icat 
p.apTvpoptevoi icaTei\rj(f)6ai avTO 3 T6TeXevTt]ic6<;. 

8 ovto) 8’ iv rai? t&v oxXwv i)nevTeTtjicev r) 
irpb<; Ta £&a TavTa heiaihaiptovla ical toI? 
irddeaiv dpteTadeTW<; eicaaTo; hidiceiTai irpo<; ttjv 
TOVTWV Tlptrfv, WO-Te Ka\ Kad’ OV XP° V0V IlToXe- 
pnlos ptev 6 fiatriXeix; viro 'P wptaiwv ovirw 

1 is repi Diudorf : Smrep fis. 

* knavnivruv Wesseling: aieiviuv. 

* KaTfi\rjtpdai rh Vulgate ; Vogel deletes r&. Reiske 
conjectured aM and is followed by Bekker and Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 83. 4-8 

ashamed to be seen by the crowds as they perform 
them, but on the contrary, in the belief that they are 
engaged in the most serious rites of divine worship, 
they assume airs of importance, and wearing special 
insignia make the rounds of the cities and the 
countryside. And since it can be seen from afar 
in the Service of what animals they are engaged, all 
who meet them fall down before them and render 
them honour. 

When one of these animals dies they wrap it in 
fine linen and then, wailing and beating their breasts, 
carry it off to be embalmed; and after it has bcen 
treated with cedar oil and such spices as have the 
quality of imparting a pleasant odour and of pre- 
serving the body for a long time, 1 they lay it away in 
a consecrated tomb. And whoever intentionally 
kills one of these animals is put to death, unless it be 
a eat or an ibis that he kills; but if he kills one of 
these, whether intentionally or unintentionally, he is 
certainly put to death, for the common people gather 
in crowds and deal with the perpetrator most cruelly, 
sometimes doing this without waiting for a trial. 
And because of their fear of such a punishment any 
who have caught sight of one of these animals lying 
dead withdraw to a great distance and shout with 
lamentations and protestations that they found the 
animal already dead. So deeply implanted also in 
the hearts of the common people is their superstitious 
regard for these animals and so unalterable are the 
emotions cherished by every man regarding the 
honour due to them that once, at the time when 
Ptolemy their king had not as yet been given by the 

1 According to Herodotus (2. 87) this was a less expensive 
method oi embalming. 

2 «5 


vpoarjyopevTO <f>iXo<s, oi 8' o^Xol vaaav elaecf/e- 
povTO <ttto v8r/v eK0epavevovTe<s tov<s vapevi8rj- 
fwvvTa<j t&v avo t?)? 'IraXta? /cal avev8ovre<; 
pr)8ep,iav a<f>opprjv ey/c\ijp,aTO<; r) voXepov Sovvai 
8iA tov <f>o/3ov, avoKTelvavTOS 'P<u paiov rivo? 
alXovpov, /cal tov vXr]dov<s avv8pap,6vTO<; evl t rjv 
oiiciav tov vpagavTOi, ovd' oi vep<f>devTe<; vvo 
tov yS aaiXea)? ap%ovTe<s evl ttjv vapair/jcnv 
ovd’ 6 icoivos avo t fj<} 'V&prj<; <£o/9o? Xayyaev 
e^eXeaOai Trjs Tipcopia<s tov avdpcovov, Kaivep 

9 aicov<nio<z tovto vevpayorra. /cal tovt ovk e£ 
aKorji; ij/xet? icnopovpev, aXX’ avTol xaTa tt/v 
yeyevrjpevr/v rjp.LV evtSrjpiav naT AiyvvTov eopa- 


84. 'Avlo-tcov 8e <f>aivopevcov v o\\ot? t&v 
elprjpevcov /cal pydois vapavXrjaicov voXX& 
vapaSogoTepa (pavrjaeTai ra peTa raOra prjdrjao- 
peva. Xip& ydp votc vie£opev<ov t&v /ca t 
AiyvvTov cf>aac voXXov<s aXXrjXcov pev aifraadai 
Sia, t r/v evSecav, t&v 8’ acfnepcopevcov %wcov t b 
vapavav p.r)8’ alriav a-^elv prjSeia vpoaevrj- 

2 vexdai. dXXa prjv ye /cal /cad’ tjv av ol/ciav 
evpedrj kvcov TeTeXevTrjK&<}, %vp&vraL vavreq oi 
/caT ol/cov ovTe<s oXov t b <r&pa /cal voiovvTac 
vevdo<s, /cal t b tovtov Oavpaai&Tepov, eav olvo<; 
fj aiTOt ij tl t&v vpo<; tov /3lov avay/caimv 
Tvy xavp /ceipevov ev tols oi/crjpamv ov t b %rjv 
egeXive t i t&v drjpimv, ovk av en XPV a ’ aa ’& at - 

3 vpb<; ov8ev a liro t? vvopeivecav. Kav ev dXXrj 
X<op<} nov (TTpaTevopevoi Tvxaxri, Xvt povptevoi 
Tovg aiXovpov ? Kai t oli? iepa/ca<; KaTayovaiv et? 
AiyvvTov Kal tovto vpaTTOvaiv evioTe t&v 

BOOK I. 83. 8-84. 3 

Romans the appeilation of “ friend ” 1 and the 
people were exercising ali zeal in courting the 
favour of the embassy from Italy which was then 
visiting Egypt and, in their fear, were intent upon 
giving no cause for complaint or war, when one of 
the Romans killed a eat and the multitude rushed 
in a crowd to his house, neither the officials sent by 
the king to beg the man off nor the fear of Rome 
which all the people felt were enough to save the man 
from punishment, even though his act had been an 
accident. And this incident we relate, not from 
hearsay, but we saw it with our own eyes on the 
occasion of the visit we made to Egypt. 

84. But if what has been said seems to many 
incredible and like a fanciful tale, what is to follow 
will appear far more extraordinary. Once, they 
say, when the inhabitants of Egypt were being hard 
pressed by a famine, many in their need laid hands 
upon their fellows, yet not a single man was even 
accused of having partaken of the sacred animals. 
Furthermore, whenever a dog is found dead in any 
house, every inmate of it shaves his entire body and 
goes into mouming, and what is more astonishing 
than this, if any wine or grain or any other thing 
necessary to life happens to be stored in the building 
where one of tliese animals has expired, they would 
never think of using it thereafter for any purpose. 
And if they happen to be making a military expedition 
in another country, they ransom the captive cats 
and hawks and bring them back to Egypt, and this 
they do sometimes even when their supply of money 

1 On the date of this incident, cp. the Introdnction, p. 



4 etfroSiarv avrov<; viroXtirovrtov. ra Se yivojxeva 
irepl rov * Attiv rov ev M efitpet Kal rov Mvemv 
rov ev HXtou7ro\et Kal ra irepl rov rpdyov rov 
ev MevSrjrL, irpo<: Se rovroic; rov KpoKoSeiXov rov 
Kara rrjv MotptSo? Xipcvrjv ical rov Xeovra rov 
rpe<f>op,evov ev rfj KaXovp,evrj Aeovrarv iroXei, ical 
iroXXa rotaiid' erepa, Strjyrjaacrdat ptev eb^epes, 
dirayyeiXavra Se iriarevdrjvat irapa toZ? pcrj 

5 re0eap,evoi<: SvctkoXov. ravra yap ev lepois pev 
ireptfioXois rpe<f>ercu, Oepairevovcn 8’ abra rroXXol 
r&v a^ioXoycov avSporv rpo<f>d<; SiSovre ? ra? 
iroXvreXecrrdrai ?• aepdSaXiv yap rj %ov8pov 
exfrovre<: ev yaXaKrt ical ire/xpara iravroSarra 
p-eXin <f>vpS)vre<;, Kal icpea xtfveia ra jxev eifrovres, 
ra 8' oirrS)vre<! dve/cXetirrax; yoprqyovcn, r ot? S' 
co/io<£ayoi? iroXXa r&v opvearv 6rjpevovre<s irapa- 
/3dXXov<ri, Kal ro KadoXov /xeydXrjv eiarfrepovrai 

6 crirovSrjv «? rrjv iroXvreXeiav rrj<; rpocjrrjr;. Xov- 
rpov; re %\<.a/>ot? ^ pd>p,evoi Kal p,vpoi<: r ot? 
Kpartaroa uXeltpovres Kal iravroSairac; eixoSias 
ffv/u&vre ? ov SiaXeiirovcn, arpo>p,va<: re Ta? 
iroXvreXearara<; Kal Koa/Mov evirpeirrj ypprj- 
yovtrt, Kal r&v avvovacSrv oircos rvy%dvrj Kara 
(frvaiv cftpovrlSa iroiovvrai rrjv p.eyianjv, irpo<; 
Se rovroK 6p,o<f>vXov<; OrjXeLas eKatrrto rcbv ^tpcov 
ras eveiSeardra? avvrperpovaiv, a? iraXXaKiSa<: 
irpoaayopevovai Kal depairevovat xat? pceyiarais 

7 Sairavai<: Kal XeiroopyiaLS. eav Se reXevrrjarj 
n, 1 irevOovai /te v taa Tot? dyairrjrSrv reKvtov 
arepopcevoK, ddirrovat Se ov Kara rrjv eavr&v 
Svvapuv, aXXa iroXv rrjv dj-tav r ?/? eavr&v 

1 ti Dindorf: tu. 


BOOK I. 84. 3-7 

tor the joumey is running short. As for the ceremonies 
connected with the Apis of Memphis, the Mnevis of 
Heliopolis 1 and the goat of Mendes, as well as with 
the crocodile of the Lake of Moeris, the lion kept in 
the City of Lions (Leontopolis), as it is called, and 
many other ceremonies like them, they could easily 
be described, but the writer would scarcely be believed 
by any who had not actually witnessed them. For 
these animals are kept in sacred enclosures and are 
cared for by many men of distinction who offer them 
the most expensive fare; for they provide, with 
unfailing regularity, the finest wheaten flour or 
wheat-groats seethed in milk, every kind of sweet- 
meat made with honey, and the meat of ducks, 
either boiled or baked, while for the carnivorous 
animals birds are caught and thrown to them in 
abundance, and, in general, great care is given that 
they have an expensive fare. They are continually 
bathing the animals in warm water, anointing them 
with the most precious ointments, and buming before 
them every kind of fragrant incense; they furnish 
them with the most expensive coverlets and with 
splendid jewellery, and exercise the greatest care 
that they shall enjoy sexual intercourse according 
to the demands of nature ; furthermore, with every 
animal they keep the most beautiful females of the 
same genus, which they call his concubines and attend 
to at the cost of heavy expense and assiduous Service. 
When any animal dies they mourn for it as deeply as 
do those who have lost a beloved child, and bury it 
in a manner not in keeping with their ability but 

1 The bulls Apis and Mnevis are described in the following 



8 ovcrlas VTrepfidXXovTes. pera yap t yv 'AXe%dv- 
Spov reXevTifv, TlroXepalov tov Adyov rrapei- 
XytfioTos apTi ttjv Aljvtttov, erv^ev ev Meptfiet, 
t eXevryaas 6 'Attis yypcy 6 Se ryv eiripeXeiav 
eymv avrov ryv re yroipaapevyv xoptjyLaVy 
ovcrav irdvv ttoXXijv, eis ratjirjv airacrav eSa- 
iravyae /cal irapa tov TlroXepalov Trevry/covra 
apyvplov TaXavra irpoaeSaveloaro. /cal /caff 
ypas Se rives t&v t a %&a ravra Tpetf/ovrcov eis 
ras ratf)ds avr&v ov/c eXarrov t&v e/carov ra- 
Xavrcov SeSawavy/caaiv. 

85. UpoaOeTeov Se toIs elpypevois ti x Xeiiro- 
peva t&v yivopevcov irepl tov lepov Tavpov tov 
ovopa^opevov 'Attiv. orav yap reXevryaas t acf>y 
fieyaXoTrpeTT&s, ^yrovaiv ol irepl rabr ovres 
lepets poa^ov e%ovTa /cara to a&pa Trapdcrypa 

2 to TTapaTrXrjcna r& irpovirdp^avTi' orav S’ 
evpedrj, ra pev TrXrjOr) tov irevdovs diroXveTai, 
t&v S’ lepecov ols eerriv eiripeXes dyovai tov 
poax°v to pev irp&Tov eis NelXov ttoXiv, ev 
y Tpe(j>ovaiv avTov e(f>' ypepas reTTapd/covra, 
eiren eis daXapyyov vavv oi/cypa /cexpvarcopevov 
ex°v(Tav e pfBiftcuravTes ws deov avdyovatv eis 

3 Meptpiv eis to tov r U<palaTov t epevos. ev Se 
rals wpoeipypevais reTTapd/covd' ypepais povov 
op&cnv avrov ai yvval/ces /cara irpoamirov lora- 
pevai /cal Sei/cvvovaiv dvaavpapevai Ta eavr&v 
yevvyn/ca popia, tov ^S' aXXov xpovov airavra 
/ce/ccoXvpevov earlv eis oi\riv abras epxeaOat 

i tovtg) t& deco. Tys Se tov / 3 oos tovtov Tipfjs 
alrlav evioi (pepovoi Xeyovres oti reXevryaavros 
’OalpiSos eis tovtov y ‘'frvxv pereory, /cal Sta 

BOOK I. 84. 7-85. 4 

going far beyond the value of their estates. For 
instance, after the death of Alexander and just 
subsequently to the taking over of Egypt by Ptolemy 
the son of Lagus, it happened that the Apis in 
Memphis died of old age; and the man who was 
charged with the care of him spent on his burial not 
only the whole of the very large sum which had 
been provided for the animals maintenance, but also 
borrowed in addition fifty talents 1 of silver from 
Ptolemy. And even in our own day some of the 
keepers of these animals have spent on their burial 
not less than one hundred talents. 

85. There should be added to what has been said 
what stili remains to be told concerning the ceremonies 
connected with the sacred bull called Apis. After 
he has died and has received a magnificent burial, 
the priests who are charged with this duty seek 
out a young bull which has on its body markings 
similar to those of its predecessor; and when it has 
been found the people cease their mouming and the 
priests who have the care of it first take the young 
bull to Nilopolis, where it is kept forty days, and then, 
putting it on a state barge fitted out with a gilded 
cabin, conduct it as a god to the sanctuary of 
Hephaestus at Memphis. During these forty days 
only women may look at it; these stand facing it and 
pulling up their garments show their genitals, but 
nenceforth they are forever prevented from coming 
into the presence of this god. Some explain the origin 
of the honour accorded this bull in this way, saying 
that at the death of Osiris his soul passed into this 

1 The intrinsic value of a talent was about one thousand 
dollars or two hundred and fifty pounds sterling. 



ravi a SiareXei p*xpi T0 ® v ^ v “ 6 ‘ KaT & to? 
avaSei^eit avTov pe8i<nap.evr) wpo? tov? fiera- 

5 yevearepov^’ evioi Se Xeyovai TeXevTijcravTOS 
'OaipiSos viro T votivos ra fieXi) avvayayovaav 
rrjv *latv ei? ftovv gvXivrjv epiftaXetv fivaaiva 
irepij3e/3Xr)p.evi)v, Kal Sia tovto Kal tijv iroXiv 
ovopaadrjvat B ovaipiv. rroWa Se Kal aXXa 

pivdoXoyovai irepl tov "AttiSos, virep &v fiaKpov 
Tjyovpeda ra 1 Kad’ etcaarov Sie^ievai. 

86. Ilavra Se davpdena /eat fiet £tu ir terreus 
eiriTeXovvres oi «at’ Aiyvirrov et? ra rifi&fieva 
£wa ttoXXtjv diropiav Trapetovrai roU Ta? ama? 

2 t ovrcov gnrovatv. oi p,ev ovv iepeis avr&v airop• 
prjrov ti Soyfia irepl rovrwv e^ovaiv, b irpoeiprj- 
Ka/iev ev tois deoXoyovpievois vir airr&v, oi Se 
iroXXol r&v Alyvmiuv rpeis alrias tovto? airo- 
SiSoacriv, Siv rijv piev irp&Ti)V ptvO&Srj iravTeX&s 

3 Kal rrjs dpxaiKrjs airXoTrjTos otKeiav. tf>aal yap 
tov? ef dpxys yevopievovs Oeovs, oXiyovs ovras 
Kal «aTta^vo/teVov? viro tov irXrjdovs Kal rrfi 
avo filas T&v yrjyev&v avdp&iruv, ofioiatdrjval Tiai 
ffflot?, Kal Sia tov toiovtov rpoirov Siatpvyelv ttjv 
& p,0Tr)Ta Kal /3tav av t&v varepov Se t&v Kara 
tov Koap,ov iravrmv Kpartfaavras, Kal rot? amoi? 
t»)? e’f apxv ? crurTjpLas x^P tv airoSiSovTas, atfue- 

1 t4 Hertlein : t i. 

1 The Apis Bull was considered the “ living soul of Osiris ” 
and, according to Plutarch (On Isis and Osiris , 43), was 

begotten, not by a bull, but by a “ generative ray of light, 
which streamed from the moon and rested upon a cow when 
she was in heat.” Apis was a black bull with a white blaze 


BOOK I. 85. 4-86. 3 

animal, and therefore up to this day has always passed 
into its successors at the times of the manifestation 
of Osiris; 1 but some say that when Osiris died at 
the hands of Typhon Isis collected the members of 
his body and put them in an ox ( bous ), made of wood 
covered over with fine linen, and because of this 
the city was called Bousiris. Many other stories 
are told about the Apis, but we feel that it would 
be a long task to recount ali the details regarding 

86. Since all the practices of the Egyptians in 
their worship of animals are astonishing and beyond 
belief, they occasion much difficulty for those who 
would seek out their origins and eauses. Now their 
priests have on this subject a teaching which may not 
be divulged, as we have already stated in connection 
with their accounts of the gods, 2 but the majority of 
the Egyptians give the following three eauses, the 
first of which belongs entirely to the realm of fable 
and is in keeping with the simplicity of primitive 
times. They say, namely, that the gods who came 
into existence in the beginning, being few in number 
and overpowered by the multitude and the lawless- 
ness of earth-bom men, 3 took on the forms of certain 
animals, and in this way saved themselves from the 
savagery and violence of mankind; but afterwards, 
when they had established their power over all things 
in the universe, out of gratitude to the animals which 
had been responsible for their salvation at the outset, 

upon his forehead; the appcarance of a new Apis Bull was 
regarded as a new manifestation of Osiris upon earth (cp. 
E. A. W. Budge, Osiris and the Egyplian Resurrection, 1. pp. 
60, 397 ff.). 

2 In chap. 21. * i.e. the Giants. 



p&aai tA? <f>vaei<; avT&v oh a<f>a>poi&8qaav, Kal 
KaraSeifjcu Toh dvdp&irois to t pe<f>eiv pev %&VTa 
7roXvTeX&$, OdirTeiv Se TeXevTqaavTa. 

4 AevTepav Se Xeyovaiv alriav, oti to iraXaiov 
oi kut Aiyvnrov Sia, Tqv ara^iav Tqv iv T(p 
tnpaTOireSfp noXXah pa^ais viro t&v TrXqaio- 
X&pwv T)TTr)devTe<; eirevoqaav avvOqpa cfiopeiv 

5 em t&v TaypaTtov. <f>a<rlv ovv /caTaaicevdaavTas 
ehcovas t&v typwv a vvv Tip&ai, Kal mq\-avTa<i 
em aawicov, <f>opelv too? qyepova<i, Kal Sta 
tovtov tov Tpcnrov yvcopl£eiv eKacrTOv qt eirj 
avvTal;eo)<;' peydXa Se crvp^aXXopevqt avToh 
rrj<; Sia tovtwv evTa%ia<; irpos Tqv viKqv, Sotjai 
Ttjs autTrjpia^ ahia yeyovevai ra %&a- X“P lv °vv 
avToh tous dvOp&TTOwt diroSovvai /3ovXopevov; 
eh edo<; /cararafat t&v etKaadevTMv rore pqSev 
KTeiveiv, aXXa ae^opevovt dirovepeiv ttjv irpoeipq- 
pevqv empeXeiav Kal Tipqv. 

87 . T piTT/v S’ ahiav <f)ipovcn t»)? apifuaftqTq- 
aeeoi t&v £q!eov Tqv XP elav > V v eKaarov ain&v 
npoatjiepeTai 7rpo? Tqv &<f>eXeiav tov koivov fiiov 

2 Kal T&v dvdp&mnv. Tqv pev ydp BqXeiav flovv 
ipyaTas TiKTeiv Kal ttjv iXacfipav tt}<; yrjs apovv, 
Ta Se TrpoftaTa Sh pev tIktoiv Kal rot? eptoi ? 
Tqv <TKenqv apa Kai Tqv evaxqpoavvqv irepi- 
iroieiv, t& Se ydXaKTi Kal t& Tvp& Tpocfids 
irapexeadai TTpocrqveh apa Kal SayfriXeh. tov 
S e /cvva . 7T/30S' re tov Oqpas elval xpqmpov Kal 
irpos Tqv <f>vXaKtjv‘ Sioirep tov Oebv tov irap ’ 
avToh KaXovpevov "Avovftiv irapeiadyovai kwo<; 
expvTa Ke<f>aXqv, ep<j>aivoVTe<; oti acopaTO<f>vXa!- 


BOOK I. 86. 3-87. 2 

they made sacred those kinds whose form they 
had assumed, and instructed mankind to maintain 
them in a costly fashion while living and to bury 
them at death. 

The second cause which they give is this—that the 
early Egyptians, after having been defeated by their 
neighbours in many battles because of the lack of 
order in their army, conceived the idea of carrying 
standards before the several divisions. Consequently, 
they say, the commanders fashioned figures of the 
animals which they now worship and carried them 
fixed on lances, and by this device every man knew 
where his place was in the array. And since the good 
order resulting therefrom greatly contributed to 
victory, they thought that the animals had been 
responsible for their deliverance; and so the people, 
wishing to show their gratitude to them, established 
the custom of not killing any one of the animals 
whose likeness had been fashioned at that time, but 
of rendering to them, as objects of worship, the care 
and honour which we have previously described. 

87. The third cause which they adduce in connec- 
tion with the dispute in question is the service which 
each one of these animals renders for the benefit 
of community life and of mankind. The cow, for 
example, bears workers 1 and ploughs the lighter soil; 
the sheep lamb twice in the year and provide by their 
wool both protection for the body and its decorous 
covering, while by their milk and cheese they furnish 
food that is both appetizing and abundant. Again, 
the dog is useful both for the hunt and for man’s 
protection, and this is why they represent the god 
whom they call Anubis with a dog’s head, showing 



3 tjv t uv irepl tov "O aipiv Kal tt]v j 1<tiv. evioi 8« 
<j>a<ri Trjt "IcuSo? Trpotjyov pevov; tou? Kvva<s Kad’ 
ov Kaipov etyrei tov "O aipiv, Tei T6 drjpia Kal 
tou? a-rravTUVTas aneipyeiv, en 8’ evvoiKu<; 
SiaKeipevov<; av&Telv upvopevovf Sio Kal toi? 
’\<reioi<; irpoiropeieadai t om «wo; /cara rpv 
irop.TTT)v, t uv KaTaSeijjdvTuv tovto to 

4 cnjpaivovTUV rrjv iraXaiav tov %uov %dpt,v. Kal 
tov pev aiXovpov t rpo? tc t a? do Tribas davdoipa 
SaKvovoaK evdeTov virdpxeiv Kal t aXXa Sa/ceTa 
tuv epireT&v, tov 8’ l^vevpova tuv KpoKoSelXuv 
irapaTppovvTa tou? youou? t a KaTaXrjipdevra tu v 
uuv (TWTpijSeiv, /cal t avT impeXus /cal tfnXo- 

5 t ipu<; evepyelv pr)8ev ucfreXovpevov. tovto 8 ’ el 
pt) crvvefUaive yiveadai, Sia to 7rXrjdo<; tuv yev- 
vupevuv Brjpiuv aftaTov av yevecrdai tov iroTapov. 
diroXXvadai Se /cal tou? KpoKoSeiXov; auTOU? 
inrb tov irpoeipr) pevov £uov irapaSo^ut; /cal 
iravreXu<i dirioTOvpevr) pedoSu' tou? ydp l%vev- 
pova<! Kv\iopevov<i ev tu tttjXu \clok6vtuv avTuv 
Kad' ov av XPbvov iirl Trj<; ^epoov KadevSuaiv 
eiairr^Sav Sia tov <TTopaTO<; et? peaov to trupa• 
eireiTa ovvTopw; ttjv KoiXiav Sia<f>ayovTa<; avToi/<! 
pev ukivSvvu<: efjievai, tou? Se tovto ira06vTa<! 

6 ue/cpou? Troie Zv Trapaxprjpa. tuv S' opveuv t tjv 
pev Ifitv xpnoipnv virapxeiv irpoi Te tov<; o<j>ei<; 
Kal t a? aKpiSat Kal t a? Kapira<!, tov S’ lepaxa 
t ryoo? tou? OKopTTLOvq Kal KepdoTa<; Kal TO plKph 
tuv SaKeruv drjpiuv to paXioTa tou? dvdpu- 

7 7rou? avaipovvTa. evioi Se Xeyovoi t ipdadai to 
%uov tovto Sia to tov ? pavTei<! oluvoi<% to7? 
iepagi xpto/teuou? irpoXeyeiv Ta peXXovTa t oi% 

BOOK I. 87 . 2-7 

in this way that he was the bodyguard of Osiris 
and Isis. There are some, however, who explain 
that dogs guided Isis during her search for Osiris and 
protected her from wild beasts and wayfarers, and 
that they helped her in her search, because of the 
affection they bore for her, by baying; and this is the 
reason why at the Festival of Isis the procession is 
led by dogs, those who introduced the rite showing 
forth in this way the kindly Service rendered by this 
animal of old. The eat is likewise useful against 
asps with their deadly bite and the other reptiles that 
sting, while the ichneumon keeps a look-out for the 
newly-laid seed of the crocodile and crushes the eggs 
left by the female, doing this carefully and zealously 
even though it receives no benefit from the act. 
Were this not done, the river would have become 
impassable because of the multitude of beasts that 
would be born. And the crocodiles themselves are 
also killed by this animal in an astonishing and quite 
incredible manner; for the ichneumons roll them¬ 
selves over and over in the mud, and when the 
crocodiles go to sleep on the land with their mouths 
open they jump down their mouths into the centre 
of their body; then, rapidly gnawing through the 
bowels, they get out unscathed themselves and at 
the same time kill their victims instantly . 1 And of 
the sacred birds the ibis is useful as a protector against 
the snakes, the locusts, and the caterpillars, and 
the hawk against the scorpions, horned serpents, and 
the small animals of noxious bite which cause the 
greatest destruction of men. But some maintain 
that the hawk is honoured because it is used as a 
bird of omen by the soothsayers in predicting to the 
1 Strabo (17. 1. 39) gives much the same account. 



8 AiyvirTioi?. Tive? Se <j>aaiv ev rot? apxaioK 
Xpovoi? lepa/ca fti/SXiov eveyKelv et? ®ij/3a? toi? 
lepevai (poiviK& pappari irepieiXr}pevov, ex ov 
yeypappeva ? ra? r&v de&v depaireia? re /cal 
ripas’ Sio 1 Kal t ov? lepoypapparei? <f>opeiv 
(poivucovv pappa Kal irrepov iepaKO? eirl tt)? 

9 Ke<f>aXr}?. tov S' aerov ®r)j3aioi Tip&ai Sia to 
ftaaiXiKov elvai Sokbi v tovto t 6 £&ov Kal tov 
Aio? agiov. 

88 . Tov Se t payov cnreOemaav, KaOdrrep Kal 
7r apct toi? "EWtjoi TeTiprjaOai Xeyovcri tov 
Hpiawov, Sia to yevvTjTiKov pbpiov' to pev 
yap £q>ov elvai tovto Karm^epearaTov irpo? ra? 
avvovaia?, to Se pbpiov tov amparo? to tt}? 
yeveaeco ? airiov ripaadai TrpoarjKovro}?, &? av 
virapxov apxeyovov rrj? t&v £q>a>v <j>v<rea>?. 

2 KadoXov Se to alSoiov ovk Alyvjrriov? povov, 
aXXb, Kal t&v aXXcov ovk bXLyov? KaOiepwKevai 
Karh ra? reXera?, &? airiov t fj? t&v ^&a>v 
yeveaeo)?- tov? re tepet? tov ? TrapaXafiovra? ra? 
7 TarpiKa? iepcoovva ? Kar A lyvjTTOV tovto> t& 

3 0e& irp&Tov pveladai. Kal tov ? Ildva? Se Kal 
tov ? 'Zarvpov ? tyaalv eveKa rrj? avrij? ahia ? 
Tipaadai irap avd panroi?- Sio Kal rb.? ehova ? 
avr&v dvan8evai tov ? irXeioTov? ev rot? iepol? 
evrerapeva ? /tat toO t payov <f>voei irapa- 
wXtjala?' to yap £&ov tovto irapaSeSoaOai irpo ? 
ra? avvovaia? inrapxeiv evepyeararov eKelvoi ? 2 
oov Sta TavTt)? Tt}? eptyaaem X^P LV diroSiSovai 
irepl Ttj? iroXvTeKvia ? t»}? eavr&v. 

1 5i& Vogel: ttiirtp Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 

1 ixeivott Bekker, Vogel: i/cdtoi/j Vulgate, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 87. 7-88. 3 

Egyptians events which are to come. Others, 
however, say that in primitive times a hawk brought 
to the pricsts in Thebes a book wrapped about with 
a purple band, which contained written directions 
concerning the worship of the gods and the honours 
due to them; and it is for this reason, they add, 
that the sacred scribes wear on their heads a purple 
band and the wing of a hawk. The eagle also is 
honoured by the Thebans because it is believed to 
be a royal animal and worthy' of Zeus. 

88. They have deified the goat, just as the Greeks 
are said to have honoured Priapus, 1 because of the 
generative member; for this animal has a very great 
propensity for copulation, and it is fitting that 
honour be shown to that member of the body which 
is the cause of generation.being, as it were,the primal 
author of all animal life. And, in general, not only 
the Egyptians but not a few other peoples as well 
have in the rites they observe treated the male 
member as sacred, on the ground that it is the cause 
of the generation of all creatures; and the priests 
in Egypt who have inherited their priestly offices 
from their fathers are initiated first into the mysteries 
of this god. And both the Pans and the Satyrs, 
they say, are worshipped by men for the same reason; 
and this is why most peoples set up in their sacred 
places statues of them showing the phallus erect 
and resembling a goat’s in nature, since according 
to tradition this animal is most efficient in copulation; 
consequently, by representing these creatures in such 
fashion, the dedicants are retuming thanks to them 
for their own numerous offspring. 


Priapus is discussed in Book 4. 6. 


4 Tou? Se Taripovs tovs teporis, Xeyw Se tov re 

' Attiv xal tov Mi/euti/, Tiptaadai TtapatrXrjaiws 
tois 6 eois, 'O aiptSos tccnaSeiljavTOs, apta ptev Sta 
t?) v Trjs yewpyias XP elav > xat Sta to twv 

evpovTwv tovs xaprrovs ttjv Sofjav Tats tojjtwv 
epyacriats irapaSoatpov yeyovevat tois pteT a- 
yevecrTepois eis airavra tov alwva. to iis Se 
irvppovs / 3 ovs avyxwprjOrjvat drieiv Sta to Soxetv 
toiovto v tw 'fcpwp.aTi yeyovevat Ti icjrwva tov 
iiri^ovXeriaavTa ptev 'OatptSt, TvyovTa Se Tiptco- 

5 pias viro Trjs “hnSos Sta tov TavSpos (jiovov. xat 
twv avOpwirwv Se tovs optoxpwptaTOvs tw T vif>wvt 
to iraAatov viro twv ftaatXewv (f>a<n QrieaBat 
7 rpos tw Tii(f>w tw 1 ’ OcriptSos • twv ptev ovv 
AlyviTTtwv oXiyovs Ttvas evptaxeaOai irvpporis, 
twv Se gevwv tovs irXetovs' Sto xat nept ttjs 
B ovatptSos tjevoxTovias irapa tois "EXXrjatv 
evtaxycrat tov ptvOov, o v tov (BaaiXews ovopta^o- 
ptevov BovatptSos, aXXa tov ’ OaiptSos Tatjjov 
TavTtjv e%ovTOS ttjv irpoarjyoptav xaTa. tt)v twv 
eyxwplwv StaXexTov. 

6 Toii? Se Xrixovs TiptaaOat Xeyovat Sta tt)v 
7r pos tovs xrivas Trjs <j>riaews opoiorrjTa • /3paxv 
yap StaXaTTovTas avTovs t ais <pri(reai Tats ein- 
pii£iats ^woyovetv etj aXXijXwv. if>epovai S’ 
Alyrimiot xat aXXrjv alriav Trjs tov £wov 
Torinov Ttptrjs ptv0txwTepav to yap iraXatov <j>aat 
Trjs v I(7tSo? p.eTa tov iratSos "Slpov pteXXoriaijs 

1 ry Vogel: tov B, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 88. 4-6 

The sacred bulls—I refer to the Apis and the 
Mnevis—are honoured like the gods, as Osiris com- 
manded, both because of their use in farming and 
also because the fame of those who discovered the 
fruits of the earth is handed down by the labours of 
these animals to succeeding generations for all time. 
Red oxen, however, may be sacrificed, because it 
is thought that this was the colour of Typhon, who 
plotted against Osiris and was then punished by Isis 
for the death of her husband. Men also, if they 
were of the same colour as Typhon, were sacrificed, 
they say, in ancient times by the kings at the tomb 
of Osiris; however, only a few Egyptians are now 
found red in colour, but the majority of such are 
non-Egyptians, and this is why the story spread 
among the Greeks of the slaying of foreigners by 
Busiris, although Busiris was not the name of the 
king but of the tomb of Osiris, which is called that 
in the language of the land. 1 

The wolves are honoured, they say, because their 
nature is so much like that of dogs, for the natures 
of these two animals are little different from each 
other and hence offspring is produced by their inter- 
breeding. But the Egyptians offer another explana- 
tion for the honour accorded this animal, although 
it pertains more to the realm of myth; for they 
say that in early times when Isis, aided by her son 

1 Herodotus (2. 45) denies the existence of human sacrifices 
and there was probably none in his day. But the sacrifice of 
captives is attested by the monuments of the Eighteenth and 
Nineteenth Dynasties, and J. G. Frazer (The Golden Bough, 2. 
pp. 254ff.) finds in this account of Diodorus and a similar story 
given by Plutarch (On Isis and Osiris, 73), on the authority of 
Manetho, evidence for the annual sacrifice of a red-haired man 
to prevent the failure of the crops. 



Siay covine e0 at 7rpo? Tv<f>wva irapayevecr9ai ftorj- 
9ov e£ aSov tov "Oaiptv rq> Te/cvw /cal tt) yvvai/cl 
XvKtp tt)v oifriv opoiw9evra• avaipe0evTo<; ovv 
tov Tycf/wvo? tov? KpaTrjaavTWi /caTaSelgai ri- 
fiav to %(!>ov ov tt}<; oyjrew; eTritf/aveicrrjs to vlkolv 
7 eirr]Ko\ov9r)(rev. evtot Se Xeyovai, twv Al9i6irwv 
aTparevadvTcov eirl ttjv AtyvirTov, d9poi<r0eioa<; 
iraptrX^eh oyeXa? Xv/cwv etcStw^ai tov? eireX- 
9ovra ? ex tt}<; %cdpa? virep itoXiv tt)v ovopa^o- 
pAvijv 'EXecftavTtvrjv Sio /cal tov re vopov 
e/celvov Av/cottoXittiv 6vopaa9rjvai /cal gwa 
t a irpoetpjjpeva Tvyetv r i?? Ttpfj<;. 

89. AeitreTai S' ehrelv -rr epl t i)? tS>v /cpo- 
/coSeiXwv airo9ewaews, virep ?J? oi irXelaToi 
Siairopovai 7r®5 t wv 9r]piwv tovtwv aap/cofya- 
yowTcoV' t ovv dv9pd>Trov<! evopo9eT7)9tj Tipdv tua 

2 0eol ? tov? t a Seivorara SiaTi0evTa<;. <paalv oiv 

T^? JV V oxvpoTTjTa irapexecr9ai pf) pbvov 

tov TCOTapbv, aXXa /cal ttoXv paXXov tov? ev 
avTp /cpOKoSeiXovv Sio /cal tov? XyaTai tov? Te 1 
airo ' t^? Apa/3ia<; /cal At/3vr)<; pf) t oXpav 
Siavi)xea9ai tov NetXov, <fio/3ovpevow; to TrXr/0o<; 
T&V 9i)pmv tovto 5’ ov* dv 7 tot 6 yeveo9ai iroXe- 
povpevwv twv £wwv /cal Sia twv aayrjvevovTwv 

3 apSqv avaipe9evTtov. Ioti Se /cal aXXov \oyo? 
lajopovpevoy irepl t wv 0rjpiwv tovtwv. (paal 
ydp Ttve? t<uv dpxaLwv tivcl fiaatXewv, tov nrpoa- 
ayopevopevov Mtjvav, Siw/copevov vtto twv ISiwv 
kvvwv /caTacj/vyelV' et? tt)v Motptdo? /caXovpevrjv 
Xipvrjv, eirei0’ vtto /cpo/coSeiXov irapaS6^w<: ava- 

1 re deleted by Wesseling and all subsequent editore ; 
retained by Vogel. 


BOOK I. 88. 6-89. 3 

Horus, was about to commence her struggle with 
Typhon, Osiris came from Hades to help his son and 
his wife, having taken on the guise of a wolf; and 
so, upon the death of Typhon, his conquerors com- 
manded men to honour the animal upon whose 
appearance victory followed. But some say that 
once, when the Ethiopians had marched against 
Egypt, a great number of bands of wolves {lykoi) 
gathered together and drove the invaders out of the 
country, pursuing them beyond the city named 
Elephantine; and therefore that nome was given 
the name Lycopolite 1 and these animals were 
granted the honour in question. 

89. It remains for us to speak of the deification of 
crocodiles, a subject regarding which most men are 
entirely at a loss to explain how, when these beasts 
eat the flesh of men, it ever became the law to 
honour like the gods creatures of the most revolting 
habits. Their reply is, that the security of the 
country is ensured, not only by the river, but to a 
much greater degree by the crocodiles in it; that for 
this reason the robbers that infest both Arabia and 
Libya do not dare to swim across the Nile, because 
they fear the beasts, whose number is very great; 
and that this would never have been the case if war 
were continually being waged against the animals 
and they had been utterly destroyed by hunters 
dragging the river with nets. But stili another 
account is given of these beasts. For some say 
that once one of the early kings whose name was 
Menas, being pursued by his own dogs, came in his 
flight to the Lake of Moeris, as it is called, where, 
strange as it may seem, a crocodile took him on his 
1 i.e. “ of the City of the Wolves.” 



Xrj<f>0eina et? to wepav direvexBtjvai. 7^? Se 
o-toTrjpias X tl P ,v diroSt&ovai fiovXopevov t$ %<pip 
rroXiv KTiaat irXrjaiov ovopdaavra KpoKoSelXwv 
/caraSel^ai Se Kal rot? ey^topiois eo? 0eoi><; Tipav 
t avTa ra £&a Kal Trjv Xlpvrjv avTols et? rpo<f>rjV 
dvaBeivai • evravBa Se Kal t ov racf>ov eavT& 
KaTao-icevdo-cu irvpapiSa TerpdirXevpov imaTij- 
aavra, Kal tov Bavpa^opevov irapa it oXXot? 
Xa/3vpiv0ov oiKoSoprjaat. 

llapajrXrjaia Se Kal irepl t&v aXXoov Xeyovaiv, 
vwep &v t a Ka0' eKaarov paKpov av etr] ypa<f>eiv. 
otl yap rr)? &<f>eXeia<; evexa t rjs el<i tov fiiov 
otJTcoi eavTov? eWiKaai, <f>avepov elvai irdaiv 1 ex 
tov 7 roXXa t&v iScoSlpoiv wap' ainoi<; evlovs prj 
Trpoo-<f>ep6cr0ai. rti-a? pev yap (f>aKa\v, Ttt»a? Se 
Kvapoov, evtovi Se Tvp&v rj Kpoppvtov rj tivu>v 
aXXcov /3pu>paTti>v to irapairav pi) yeveaBai, 
7roXXS>v virapxovjutv Kara ttjv AiyviTTOv, SrjXov 
nroiovvTa<s Sioti SiSaKTeov iinlv eavTov<; 2 t&v 
XpytTfpwv anexecrBai, Kal Sioti irdvTa>v rrdvTa 
ea0iovTU>v ovSev av i^rjpKeae t&v dvaXurKO- 
pevaiv. Kal eTepa? S’ atVta? tf>epovTei Tive? cfiaaiv 
67TI t&v iraXai&v fiaaiXeaiv 7roXXa'*t? dcjnaTa- 
pevov tov 7r Xr/0ov9 Kal cvpfppovovvros KaTa t&v 
tjyovpevcov, t&v fiaaiXecov Tiva avveaei Sta- 
( pepovTa SieXeaBai pev ttjv x^pav et? 7rXet&) 
peptj, Ka0' eKaa tov S’ avT&v KaTaSeigai rot? 
iyXapiois aefteaBal t t %&ov rj Tpoeprjs Tti/o? prj 
yeveaBai, 07r&)? eKaa tcov to pev rrap avTOis 
1 iraariv Vogel: (pa<rlv Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 

* favrobs Vogel: aurovs Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 

1 In chap. 61 tho builder of the Labyrinth is Mendes. 


BOOK I. 89. 3-5 

back and carried liim to the other side. Wishing to 
show his gratitude to the beast for saving him, he 
founded a city near the place and named it City of 
the Crocodiles; and he commanded the natives of 
the region to worship tliese animals as gods and 
dedicated the lake to them for their sustenancej 
and in that place he also constructed his own tomb, 
erecting a pyramid with four sides, and built the 
Labyrinth which is admircd by many. 1 

A similar diversity of customs exists, according 
to their accounts, with rcgard to everything else, 
but it would be a long task to set forth the details 
concerning them. 2 That they have adopted these 
customs for themselves because of the advantage 
accruing therefrom to their life is ciear to all from 
the fact that there are those among them who will 
not touch many particular kinds of food. Some, 
for instance, abstain entirely from lentils, others 
from beans, and some from cheese or onions or certain 
other foods, there being many kinds of food in Egypt, 
showing in this way that men must be taught 
to deny themselves things that are useful, and that 
if all ate of everything the supply of no article of 
consumption would hold out. But some adduce 
other causes and say that, since under the early 
kings the multitude were often revolting and con- 
spiring against their rulers, one of the kings who 
was especially wise divided the land into a number 
of parts and commanded the inhabitants of each to 
revere a certain animal or else not to eat a certain 
food, his thought being that, tvith each group of 

2 Herodotus (2. 36) sums up this matter by saying that 
the Egyptians “have mado themselves eustonis and laws 
eontrary to those of all other men.” 



Ttp&pepov ae^opepcop, t&p Se irapd toi? aXXot<; 
d(jnepa>peion> /caTaef/popovPTeop, pr/SeiroTe opoporj- 
6 a at SvvmvTat ir avres ol /caT Avyvrrrov. /eat 
tovto e/e t&p aTTOTe\e<TpArtov <f>avep'ov ehar 
irdvTas yap tou? irXr)o tox&pov<; 7 rpo? dXXr/Xovs 
StafyepecrOat, irpoa/cirnTopras Tat? ei? t<x irpoetpr)- 
peva 7 r apavofuat<!. 

^90. (Pepovat Se /eat' Ttpei Totavr/jp aWtap t??? 
Ttop £a>a>p acjuepcoaeio^. crvpayopepiop yap ep 
dpxfj t&p dp0p<oncop e/e tov 0>)pt&Sov<; /3tov, to 
pep TrptoTop dXXijXov<; /careirdLetp /eat iroXe pe tp, 
aet tov 7r Xeop Svpapepov tov dadepearepop /cart- 
o-^vopto<;- perd Se ravra toi)? rrj p&pjj Xenro- 
pepovs vno tov <rvfi<j>epopTo<; StSaxdevTa ? ddpot- 
£ea0at /eat •/roirjaat atfpetop eauTOt? e/e t&p 
vaTepop /cadtepwdePTeop £&a>v tt/jo? Se tovto to 
arjpetop t&p aet SeStoTtap avPTpexoPTOiP, ov/e 
ev/caTaefrpoprjTOP Tot? e-rriTtOepepofi ytveadat to 
2 ervo-Trjpa’ to S' avro /eat t&p aXXcop notovPTtop 
StaaTrjpai pev ra irXiqOr) /caTa avaTijpaTa, to Se 
£&op to t»;? da<f>aXeia<! e/caaTOfi yevopepop atTtop 
Ttp&p Tvxetp taodecop, ®? to. peytaT et/ypyeryxov 
Stdrrep d X pt t&p pvp xpoveop to, t&p AtyvjTTtcop 
edpi) Siea-Trj/eoTa Ttpav tcl irap' eavTot<t eg apxhS 
t&p £a/(op /cadtepeodepTa. 

Ka&oXov &' <j>a<Tt tou? AlyvrrTtov<i vtrep tovi 
oAXovi' dpdp&TTOw; ei/xaptaTcot Sta/cetcrOat irpot 
tt&p to evepyeTOVP, popt^oPTa? peylaTr/p eVt- 
Kovptap etpat t& {3trp ttjp dpoiftrjp tjJ? 7 rpo? toi)? 
evepyeTas %aptTO?- StjXop ydp elvat Sioti 7 rdpTes 


BOOK I. 89. 5-90. 2 

people revering what was honoured among themselves 
but despising what was sacred to all the rest, all the 
inhabitants of Egypt would never be able to be of 
one mind. And this purpose, they declare, is ciear 
from the results; for every group of people is at odds 
with its neighbours, being offended at their violations 
of the customs mentioned above. 

90. Some advance some such reason as the following 
for their deification of the animals. When men, 
they say, first ceased living like the beasts and 
gathered into groups, at the outset they ltept 
devouring eacli other and warring among them¬ 
selves, the more powerful ever prevailing over the 
weaker; but later those who were deficient in 
strength, taught by expediency, grouped together 
and took for the device upon their Standard one of 
the animals which was later made sacred; then, 
when those who were from time to time in fear 
flocked to this Symbol, an organized body was 
formed which was not to be despised by any who 
attacked it. And when everybody else did the 
same thing, the whole people came to be divided 
into organized bodies, and in the case of each the 
animal which had been responsible for its safety was 
accorded honours like those belonging to the gods, as 
having rendered to them the greatest service possible; 
and this is why to this day the several groups of the 
Egyptians differ from each other in that each group 
honours the animals which it originally made sacred. 

In general, they say, the Egyptians surpass all 
other peoples in showing gratitude for every bene- 
faction, since they hold that the return of gratitude 
to benefactors is a very great resource in life; for 
it is ciear that all men will want to bestow their 



irpos evepyeaiav oppr)aovai tovtmv paXiara irap' 
oh av opoiffi KaWiora drjaavpiaOrjaopevas ras 

3 ^aptra?. Sih Se ras auras ahias SoKovaiv 
Alyvrrnoi rovs eavroiv fiatriXels rrpoaKvveiv re 
Kal ripav d)s 7rpo<; aXijdeiav ovras Beovs, dpa 
pev oiiK avev SaipovLov rivos rrpovoias vopi^ovres 
avrovs rerevxevai rijs to>v oXwv egovtrias, dpa 
Se rovs /3ouXopevous re Kal SvvapAvovs ra peyiar 
evepyereiv Tjyoupevoi deias perey^eiv fyvaetos. 

4 Ilept pev ovv rebv difjiepcopevcov £wcov el Kal 
irerrXeovaKapev, aXX' ovv ye ra pdXiara Qav- 
pa^opeva rd>v irap' Aiyvirriois vopipa SievKpivrp 

91. Ou% Tf/aara S’ av t is vrv96pevos ra irepl 
r otis rereXevrrjKoras vopapa r S)V Alyuinicov 
Oavpdaai rr/v ISioryra r&v eOSsv. orav ydp t is 
drroddvr) irap’ avroh, oi pev trvyyevets Kal <plXot 
rravres KararrXarropevoi ttijXS) ras Ke<f>aXas 
rrepiepxpvrai ri]v rroXiv 6prjvovvres, eto? av t aipijs 
TVXV to vo)pa. oi) pirjv oine Xovrpwv oine oivov 
oine rrjs aXXtjs rpotprjs agioXoyov peraXapftd- 
vovaiv, oine eaffrjras Xapirpas TrepijUdXXovrai. 

2 rS»v Se raipwv rpels virdpyovai rdljeis, 7) re rroXv- 
reXetrrdrt) Kal peat) Kal rarreivorarr). Kara pev 
ovv tt]v Trpd)T7]v avaXitTKeadai tpaaiv apyvpiov 
rdXavrov, Kara Se ttjv Sevrepav pii>as etKotTt, 
Kara Se ri]V ea-xaTTjv rravreX&s oXiyov ti 

3 Sairdvrjpa yiveaOai Xeyovaiv. oi pev ovv ra 
ad)para Oeparrevovres elai re^virai, rijv imarrj- 
pt]v TavTTjv €k yevovs rrapeiXrjipores' oinoi Se 
ypa<f>i]v eKaarov r&v eis ras raifias Sairavcopevwv 
rois oiKeiois r av reXevrrjadvnov rrpotreveyKavres 

BOOK I. 90. 2-91. 3 

benefactions preferably upon those who they see 
will most honourably treasure up the favours they 
bestow. And it is apparently on these grounds 
that the Egyptians prostrate themselves before 
their kings and honour them as being in very truth 
gods, holding, on the one hand, that it was not 
without the influence of some divine providence that 
these men have attained to the supreme power, and 
feeling, also, that such as have the will and the 
strength to confer the greatest benefactions share 
in the divine nature. 

Now if we have dwelt over-long on the topic of 
the sacred animals, we have at least thoroughly 
considered those customs of the Egyptians that men 
most marvel at. 

91. But not least will a man marvel at the peculi- 
arity of the customs of the Egyptians when he 
leams of their usages with respect to the dead. For 
whenever anyone dies among them, all his relatives 
and friends, plastering their heads with mud, roam 
about the city lamenting, until the body receives 
burial. Nay more, during that time they indulge in 
neither baths, nor wine, nor in any other food worth 
mentioning, nor do they put on bright clothing. 
There are three classes of burial, the most expensive, 
the medium, and the most humble. And if the first 
is used the cost, they say, is a talent of silver, if 
the second, twenty minae, and if the last, the expense 
is, they say, very little indeed. Now the men who 
treat the bodies are skilled artisans who have 
received this professional knowledge as a family 
tradition; and these lay before the relatives of the 
deceased a price-list of every item connected with 



iirepaToooi riva rpoirov /3ovXovrai tt)v depaireiav 

4 yeveaOat tov adp/.aros. hiopoXoyrj/rapevoi Se 
irepi iravTwv /cal tov ve/cpov irapaXafi6vTe<;, Tot? 
Teraypievois eirl T/jv Kareid i/rpevrjv iiripieXeiav 
to /r&pia irapa8i86a<ri. /cal irpSrros piev 6 ypapi- 
pM.rev<s Xeyofievos redevTO<; x a / JLal toO /rdpMros 
eirl TtjV Xayova irepiypa/pet rr)v evavvpiov ocrov 
8ei Stare pelv' eiretra 8 6 Xeyop.evo<; irapa<r)(iaTr]<s 
XiOov excov AWtoiriicbv /cal Siareptav &>? 6 1 t/o/to? 
/ceXevet ttjv crdp/ca, 7 rapaxpfjfia (pevyei Spopia, 
Siw/covtcdv twv crvpnrapovTav /cal Xl9oi<; /3aXXov- 
tq)v, eri Se /carapapievcov /cal /ca9airepel to piv<ro<; 
et? e/ceivov Tpeirovrav viroXap/.^dvov<ri ydp pt/rrj- 
tov etvat irdvra tov 6p.o<p vX/p /raptari /3lav 7 rpo/r- 
/pepovTa /cal rpavptara iroiovvTa /cal /cadoXov rt 
/ca/cov direpya^opevov. 

5 Ol raptxevral Se /caXovpievoi ird/rr)<; pie v Ttptfj<; 
/cal iroXvcopia ? d^iovvrat, Tot? re iepevat avv6vTe<s 
/cal rh<; et? iepbv elaoSov/; a/ca>XvTW<; d >? /cadapol 
irotovvraf irpb<i Se ttjv Oepaireiav tov irape/ryta- 
ptevov o-w/taTo? ddpourOevrav avr&v ei? /ca9ir)at 
tt)v %et pa Std tj)? tov ve/cpov ropifjs et? tov 
6/bpa/ca /cal irdvra egatpet 2 X&>/oi? ve/ppav /cal 
/cap8ia<s, erepos Se /cadaipet tcov ey/coiXiav e/ca- 
arov /cXvfav oivcp < poivitcei/o /cal dvpudptacn. 

6 /cadoXov Se irav to a&pta to pie v trpSnov /ceSpla 

1 iis i Vogel : otra Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 

8 iltupti Dindorf : d^aipei. 

1 Lit. “ one who ripa up lengthwise,” i.e. opens by slitting 

2 The same name is given this knife in Herodotus, 2. 86, 
whose description of embalming, although not so detailed as 

BOOK I. 91. 3-6 

the burial, and ask them in what manner they wish 
the body to be treated. When an agreement has 
been reached on every detail and they have taken 
the body, they tum it over to men who have been 
assigned to the Service and have become inured to it. 
The first is the scribe, as he is called, who, when the 
body has been laid on the ground, circumscribes on 
the left flank the extent of the incision; then the one 
called the slitter 1 cuts the flesh, as the law com- 
mands, with an Ethiopian stone 2 and at once takes 
to flight on the run, while those present set out after 
him, pelting him with stones, heaping curses on him, 
and trying, as it were, to turn the profanation on 
his head; for in their eyes everyone is an object 
of general hatred who applies violence to the body 
of a man of the same tribe or wounds him or, in 
general, does him any harm. 

The men called embalmers, however, are con- 
sidered worthy of every lionour and consideration, 
associating with the priests and even coming and 
going in the temples without hindrance, as being 
undefiled. When they have gathered to treat the 
body after it has been siit open, one of them thrusts 
his hand through the opening in the corpse into the 
trunk and extracts everything but the kidneys and 
heart, and another one cleanses each of the viscera, 
washing them in palm wine and spices. And in 
general, they carefully dress the wliole body for over 

that of Diodorus, supplementa it in many respects. It was 
probably of obsidian or flint, such as are frequently found 
in graves with mummies. For the use of such primitive 
implements in ancient religious ceremonies, cp. Joshua, 5. 3 : 
“Make thee knives of flint and circumcise again the chudren 
of Israel a second time." 

3 « 


kcu Titnv aXXoiv i-iripieXeiav ai-iovariv e<f rjpepav 
7rXetou? Tfflii TpiaKovra, enena tjpvpvp kcu Kira- 
p.d>p,(p kcu toiv Svvapevotv p.rj p.ovov noXvxpoviov 
Trjprjtnv} aXXa kcu ttjv eiicoSiav -rrapeyeadar 
depanevaavrev Se 2 napaSiSoaai toiv ovyyeveat 
tov TeTeXevrrjKOTov ov ra? ckcuttov t&v tov 
<r&p,aTov peX&v aKepatov TeTTjprjpevov Sare Kal 
ra? 67rt toiv /3\e<f>dpotv Kal tuiv o<f>pvai 
Tpt%a? Siajxeveiv Kal ttjv oXtjv npoao^rtv tov 
cr&p.aTOV dnapd.XXa.KTOv elvai Kal tov ttjv p.op<f>r}t; 
7 Tvnov yvcopi^eaOar Sio Kal noXXol t&v Aiyv- 
7 ttkov iv ot.Krjp.acn noXvTeXecn cfrvXaTTovTev to, 
a&paTa t&v npoyovcov, KaT o\jnv op&ai touv 
yeveaiv noXXalv ttjv eavT&v yevecrecov npoTeTeXev- 
TtjKOTas, &<JTe eKaaTtov Ta Te peyeOrj Kal ra? 
nepioxdv t&v acopaTcov, Uti Se tovv ttjv oyfrecov 
XapaKTTjpav opcopevovv napdSo^ov ^rv^ayaiyiav 
napexeadat KaOanep ovpfteftiaiKOTav toiv 6eu>- 
pevotv. 3 

92. ToO Se peXXovTO<; 0 amendat a&jiaTOv 
ol nvyyevelv npoXeyovat ttjv rjpepav ttjv Tacprjv 
toiv re SiKaaTaiv Kal tok nvyyeveaiv, eTi Se 
cfitXoiv tov TeTeXevTTjKOTo*;, Kal Sta/3e/3aiovvTai 
oti Siaftaiveiv peXXei ttjv Xtpvrjv , Xeyovrev 
2 Tovvopa tov peTrjXXaxoTov. enetTa napayevo- 
pevcav SiKam&v Svnl irXeiovmv 4 t&v TeTTapa- 
KOVTa, Kal KaOiodvTcov ini tivov rjpiKVKXtov 
KmeaKevaapevov nepav ttjv Xtpvrjv, rj pev fiapiv 
KadekKeTai, KarenKevanpevrj npoTepov vno t&v 

1 rjipyinv Wesseling : rripfiTeiv D, TT]pe?y II. 

* it Vogel : omitted by Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 

* Bfufityois Dindorf : Btapovjiivots. 


BOOK I. 91. 6-92. 2 

thirty days, first with cedar oil and certain other 
preparations, and then with myrrh, cinnamon, and 
such spices as have the faculiy not only of preserving 
it for a long time but also of giving it a fragrant 
odour. And after treating the body they return it 
to the relatives of the deceased, every member of it 
having been so preserved intact that even the hair 
on the eyelids and brows remains, the entire appear- 
ance of the body is unchanged, and the cast of its 
shape is recognizable. This explains why many 
Egyptians keep the bodies of their ancestors in costly 
chambers and gaze face to face upon those who died 
many generations before their own birth, so that, 
as they look upon the stature and proportions and 
the fcatures of the countenance of each, they 
experience a strange enjoyment, as though they 
had lived with those on whom they gaze. 

92. When the body is ready to be buried the 
family announces the day of interment to the judges 
and to the relatives and friends of the deceased, and 
solemnly affirms that he who has just passed away 
—giving his name—“ is about to cross the lake.” 
Then, when the judges, forty-two in number, 1 have 
assembled and have taken seats in a hemicycle which 
has been built across the lake, the baris 2 is launched, 
which has been prepared in advance by men espe- 

1 These judges correspond to the forty-two judges or 
assessors before each of whom the dead man must declare 
in the next world that he had not committed a certain sin 
(Book of the Dead, Chap. CXXV). 

2 The name given the scows used on the Nile and described 
in Herodotus 2. 96. 

4 itXdivuv Dindorf: 



TavTrjv exovrcov ttjv eiripeXeiav, efyeaTrjxe Se 
Tavrrj o irop6jiev<t, ov AIjvtttioi /cara ttjv ISlav 

3 SiaXexTov ovopa£ovai xapcova. Sio xal <f>aaiv 
’Op(jjea to iraXaibv et? Alyvi ttov TrapaftaXovTa 
xal deaaapevov tovto to vop.ip.ov, pvOoiroirjaai 
Ta xa8' aSov, rA pev piprjadpevov, Ta S' avrov 
ISla nXaadpevov virep 1 ov Ta xaTa pepo ? 

4 piKpov vaTepov dvaypd-jropev. ov prjv dAXa 
t fj<! ySapeco? et? ttjv Xlpvrjv xadeXxvadeiaTjs, 
irplv rj ttjv Xdpva/ca ttjv tov vexpbv e^ovaav et? 
avTTjv Tideadai, tS> fiovXopevco xaTijyopeiv 6 
vopot egovalav SlScoaiv. edv pev ovv rt? irapeX- 
dcbv iyxaXearj xal Selgy fiefiicoxoTa xaxa><;, ot 
pev xpnal ra? yvd>pa<; irdaiv 3 diro^alvovTai, to 
Se acopa eipyerai t?J? elffiapevy; Tarprjf eav S’ 6 
eyxaXeaa<; Sogy py Sixalca Kavqyopeiv, peydXois 

5 irepimiTTei irpoaTipois. OTav Se pySels vira- 
xovay xaTrjyopot rj irapeXdcov yvcoaOy avxo<f)d.VTrj<i 
virapxeiv, oi pev avyyevelt dirodepevoi to 7 revffos 
eyxcopiafrvai tov TeTeXevTyxora, xal irepl pev 
tov yevovt ovSev Xeyovaiv, coairep irapa rot? 

EXXyaiv, VTToXapfiavovTes a,7ravTa<s 6polea ev- 
yevelf eivai tov? xaT Atyvinov, ttjv S’ ex iraiSb<; 
aycoyrjv xal vaiSelav SieXdovTes, iraXiv avSpo<; 
yeyovoTOs ttjv evaefteiav xal Sixaioauvrjv, cti Se 
ttjv eyxpaTeiav xal to? a\Xa? apeTas aiiTOv 
Sie^epyovTai, xal irapaxaXovai tov? xaTco deovs 
Segaa&ai avvotxov Tot? evaefilear to Se TrXfjdot 
eirevcpTjpel xal diroaepvvvei ttjv Sogav tov tctc- 

1 virep Vogel: irepl CF, Bekker, Dindorf. 

* ■wamv omitted by C F, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 92. 2-5 

cially engaged in that Service, and which is in the 
charge of the boatman whom the Egyptians in their 
language call charon . 1 For this reason they insist 
that Orpheus, having visited Egypt in ancient 
times and witnessed this custom, merely invented 
his account of Hades, in part reproducing this prac- 
tice and in part inventing on his own account; but 
this point we shall discuss more fully a little later.* 
At any rate, after the baris has been launched into 
the lake but before the coffin containing the body 
is set in it, the law gives permission to anyone who 
wishes to arraign the dead person. Now if anyone 
presents himself and makes a charge, and shows that 
the dead man had led an evil life, the judges announce 
the decision to all and the body is denied the cus- 
tomary burial; but if it shall appear that the accuser 
has made an unjust charge he is severely punished. 
When no accuser appears or the one who presents 
himself is discovered to be a slanderer, the relatives 
put their mourning aside and laud the deceased. 
And of his ancestry, indeed, they say nothing, as 
the Greeks do, since they hold that all Egyptians are 
equally well bom,but after recounting his training and 
education from childhood, they describe his righteous- 
ness and justice after he attained to manhood, also 
his self-control and his other virtues, and call upon 
the gods of the lower world to receive him into the 
company of the righteous; and the multitude shouts 
its assent and extols the glory of the deceased, as of 

1 Professor J. A. Wilson, of the Oriental Institute of the 
University of Chicago, kindly writes me: “There is no 
evidence to support the statement of Diodorus that the 
Egyptians called the underworld ferryman, or any boatman 
connected with death, Charon,” 

1 Cp. chap. 96. 



\evTij koto<i, &>? tov al&va SiaTplfteiv peWovTo? 
xaO' aSov peTa, t&v evere^&v. ro Se er&pa 
TiOeaoiv ol pev ISLovs e%ovTe<; raefiovs ev Tat? 
anoSeSeiypevai ? dqKai^, oh S’ oi)% virapy/ovcn 
Ta<f>a)v KTijaeis, Kaivov oiKrjpa iroiovai tcarct ttjv 
ISiav oltciav, Kal n rpo? tov dorpaXeoTarov t&v 
jol^oiv opffrjv lenam ttjv \dpvava. /cal tovs 
KwXvopevovs Se Sia reis KaTqyoplas rj irpex; 
Saveiov virodr)Ka<; ddirreerOai Tideaen /carci ttjv 
ISiav olrciav obs venepov iviore iralSeov traiSe<; 
evnoprjeravTes /cal t&v re avp/3o\aleov Kal t&v 
eyKXrjpaTeov diroXvoavre*; peyaXoirpeirov^ ja<f>r)<; 

93. 'HepvoTaTov Se SieiAqinai irap' AlyrnTioi? 
to tou? yovelt rj tov ? irpoyovov; (pavrjvai irepiTTO- 
Tepov TeTip,r]KOTa<; et? ttjv alwviov oiKrjeriv pera- 
oTavTa<;. vbp.ip.ov 8’ eenl irap' avTois «at to 
SiSovai Ta acbpaTa t&v TeTeXevTqKOTeov yoveeov 
et? VTTodrjKtjv Saveiov toi ? Se prj Xvoapevois 
oveiSov Te to peyienov a/coXovdei «at pera ttjv 
T eXevTtjv <jTepi)<jVi Taef>rj<;. davpaerai S’ dv rt? 
TrpotTTjKOVTax; tov<; t avTa Starafafra?, oti tt]v 
eirieiKeiav «at tt]V enrovSaioTijTa t&v rjd&v ovk 
e’« t?}? t&v Z&vtwv opi\la<; povov, d\\a «at t?}? 
t&v TeTeXevTTjKOTcov Ta<f>T)<; Kal depairelae; eej> 
oerov i]v evSexopevov Tot? dv0p&noi<; evoiKeiovv 
eepiXoripq&qoav. ol pev ydp “EUijm? pvOois 
treif\.aerpevoi<; Kal epqpais Sia/3e/3\r]pevais ttjv 
irepl tovtcov irieniv irapeSeoKav, 1 rqv Te t&v 
everefi&v Tipfjv Kal Tqv t&v irovqp&v Tipeapiav 
Toiyapovv oi>x olov ler)(vaai SvvaTai TavTa 
TrpoTpe-ty-aadai tov<; avdp&irovs enl tov apienov 

BOOK I. 92. 5-93. 3 

one who is about to spend eternity in Hades among 
the righteous. Those who have private sepulchres 
lay the body in a vault reserved for it, but those who 
possess none construet a new chamber in their own 
home, and stand the coffin upright against the 
firmest wall. Any also who are forbidden burial 
because of the accusations brought against them or 
becausc their bodies have been made security for a 
loan they lay away in their own homes ; and it some- 
times happens that their sons’ sons, when they have 
become prosperous and paid off the debt or cleared 
them of the charges, give them later a magnificent 

93. It is a most sacred duty, in the eyes of the 
Egyptians, that they should be seen to honour their 
parents or ancestors all the more after they have 
passed to their eternal home. Another custom of 
theirs is to put up the bodies of their deceased 
parents as security for a loan; and failure to repay 
such debts is attended with the deepest disgrace as 
well as with deprivation of burial at death. And a 
person may well admire the men who established 
these customs, because they strove to inculcate in 
the inhabitants, so far as was possible, virtuousness 
and excellence of character, by means not only of 
their converse with the living but also of their burial 
and affectionate care of the dead. For the Greeks 
have handed down their beliefs in such matters—in 
the honour paid to the righteous and the punishment 
of the wicked—by means of fanciful tales and dis- 
credited legends; consequently these accounts not 
only cannot avail to spur their people on to the best 

1 TrapedwKav Vogel: napalieliwKcurt B, Bekkor, Dindorf. 



fiiov, aXXa rovvavriov viro t&v tfiavXwv yXeua- 
f opeva TroXXrjt KaTa^>povyae(o; Tvy^avovar 
4 irapa Se to Z? AtyoirTtoi; ov pvd&Sov;, aXX’ 
oparrif toZ? pev irovypol ? Trj; KoXaaemt, toZ? 
S’ ayaOol; Trp Tipy; ovcry;, KaO’ eKaarrjv fjpepav 
ap<j>oTepoi t&v eavTol; ir poa-qKovTwv viropipvfj- 
(TKOVTCU, Kai Sia TOVTOV TOV TpOTTOV fj 1 peyiaTt) 
Kai avpspopwTaTi} Siopdcoai; ylverai t&v rjd&v. 
KpaT icttov; S’, olpai, t&v vopoiv rjytjTeov ovk e’£ 
&v eviropcoTaTov;, aXX’ &v eirieiKeaTaTov; toZ? 
fjdecn /cal iroXniKoiTaTov; avp^yaeTai yeveadai 
tov; avdp&irov;. 

94. 'PrjTeov S' Kai irepl t&v yevopevav 
vopode T&v naT AiyvirTov t&v ovtco; i^rjX- 
Xaypeva Kai irapaSoga vopipa KUTaSetljdvTcvv. 
peTa yap ttjv iraXaidv tov *ot' AiyvirTov /3iov 
KaTatTTaaiv, Ttjv pvdoXoyovpevyv yeyovevai eirl 
Te t&v 6e&v Kai t&v fjp&mv, irelaai <f>aai 
irp&Tov eyypaiTTOi; vopoi; %pfjaaaOai t d ir\ijdij 
tov Mvevrjv, avSpa Kai tt) 'tyvxf) peyav Kai t& 
/3iq> KOivoraTov t&v pvrjpovevopevmv, irpoa- 
iroir)6r)vai S’ avT& tov 'Eppfjv SeScoKevai tovtov;, 
&; peydXwv dyad&v ahlov; eaopevov;, Kadairep 
irap' "EWijcrt iroiyaai cpaaiv ev pe v t{) KpyTjj 
Mivwa, irapa Se AaxeSaipovtoi; AvKovpyov, tov 
pev iraph Aio?, tov Se irap' 'AiroWcovo; (pijaavTa 
2 tovtov; irapeiXyrpevai. Kai irap' eTepoi; Se 
irAeloaiv edveai irapaSeSoTai tovto to yevo; ttj; 
eirivola ? virdp^ai Kai iroXX&v dyad&v aiTiov 

1 i) Bekker, Vogel: omitted by Vulgate and Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 93. 3-94. 2 

life, but, on the contrary, being scoffed at by worthless 
men, are received with contempt. But among the 
Egyptians, since these matters do not belong to the 
realm of myth but men see with their own eyes that 
punishment is meted out to the wicked and honour 
to the good, every day of their lives both the wicked 
and the good are reminded of their obligations and 
in this way the greatest and most profitable amend- 
ment of men’s characters is effected. And the best 
laws, in my opinion, must be held to be, not those 
by which men become most prosperous, but those by 
which they become most virtuous in character and 
best fitted for citizenship. 

94. We must speak also of the lawgivers who have 
arisen in Egypt and who instituted customs unusual 
and strange. After the establishment of settled life 
in Egypt in early times, which took place, according 
to the mythical account, in the period of the gods and 
heroes, the first, they say, to persuade the multitudes 
to use written laws was Mneves, 1 a man not only 
great of soul but also in his life the most public- 
spirited of ali lawgivers whose names are recorded. 
According to the tradition he claimed that Hermes 
had given the laws to him, with the assurance that 
they would be the cause of great blessings, just as 
among the Greeks, they say, Minos did in Crete and 
Lycurgus among the Lacedaemonians, the former 
saying that he received his laws from Zeus and the 
latter his from Apollo. Also among several other 
peoples tradition says that this kind of a device was 
used and was the cause of much good to such as 

1 Apparently Mneves is only a variant of the name Menas of 
chaps. 43 and 45 (cp. A. Wiedemann, Agyptische Qeschichie, 



yeveadai toi? treiadeiar irapa p,ev yap t ot$ 
’A piavois Ziadpavtnrjv iaropovai tov dya6ov 
SalpLova ■jrpoairoiijaaadai t ov? vopow; abra i 
hihovai, t rapa Se rof? ovopa£opevoi<; Terat? rot? 
cnradavaTi^ovai Zd\p.o^iv &aavT(o<; ttjv koivijv 
'E OTiav, tt apa Se rot? TovSatot? Maiw?n tov 
’I a&> €TTLKaXoup.evov Oeov, etre 8 avpaaTrjv Kai 
Oeiav 0 X 1 09 evvoiav eivai KpivavTa 9 t^v peXXovaav 
&<f)eXijaeiv dv8p&TTu>v irXrj6o<:, eiTe «at 7rpo9 ttjv 
vvepoyriv «at hvvap.iv t&v evpetv Xeyopevorv tov 9 
vo/zov? a7ro/3\e\]ra vra tov o^Xov paXXov vira- 
Kovaeadai hia\a/3ovTat. 

3 A evrepov Se vopodeTrjv Alyinnioi tyaai ye¬ 
veadai Xaavxiv, avhpa avveaei hiatfiepovTa. 
tovtov Se 7rpo9 Tot? virdpxpva 1 vopois aXXa re 
irpoadelvai Kai tu nrepl ttjv t&v 8e&v Tiprjv 
eVi/teXearara Starafat, evpeTrjv Se «at yemptTpiat; 
yeveadai Kai ttjv rrepi t&v aoTpcov demplav re 
«at TrapaTrjprjmv hihdjjat tov? ey^wpiov?. 

4 TpiTov Se Xeyovai Seaocoaiv tov j3aaiXea prj 
p.ovov ra? TroXepiKas 7rpd£et? eTU^avearara? 
KaTepydaaadai t&v /car’ Alyvrnov, dXXa Kai 
Trepl t o pd^ipav edvo \? vopodealav avaTrjaaadai, 
Kai ra aKoXovda ra 7rept tt)v arpareiav avp- 

5 TravTa hiaKoa prjaai. reraprov Se vopodeTrjv 

(fraai yeveadai Bo«%optv tov /3aaiXea, ao<f>ov 

1 This form of the name is much nearer to the old Iranian 
form, Zarathustra, than the later corruption Zoroaster. 

2 Herodotus (4. 93 ff.) gives more details about Zalmoxis.or 

Gebeleizis, as he also calls him, and the Getae “ who pretend 

to be immortal.” Strabo (7. 3. 5) calls him Zamolxis and 

makes him a former slave of Pythagoras, a story already known 

to Herodotus and rejeoted by him. 


BOOK I. 94. 2-5 

believed it. Thus it is recorded that among the 
Arians Zathraustes 1 claimed that the Good Spirit 
gave him his laws, among the people known as the 
Getae who represent themselves to be immortal 
Zalmoxis 2 asserted the same of their common god- 
dess Hestia, and among the Jews Moyses referred his 
laws to the god who is invoked as lao. 3 They ali did 
this either because they believed that a conception 
which would help humanity was marvellous and 
wholly divine, or because they hcld that the common 
crowd would be more likely to obey the laws if their 
gaze were directed towards the majesty and power 
of those to whom their laws were ascribed. 

A second lawgiver, according to the Egyptians, 
was Sasychis, 4 a man of unusual understanding. He 
made sundry additions to the existing laws and, in 
particular, laid down witli the greatest precision the 
rites to be used in honouring the gods, and he was 
the inventor of geometry and taught his countrymen 
both to speculate about the stars and to observe 
them. A third one, they teli us, was the king 
Sesoosis, 5 * who not ouly performed the most renowned 
deeds in war of any king of Egypt but also organized 
the rules goveming the warrior class ® and, in con- 
formity with these, set in order all the regulations 
that have to do with militaiy campaigns. A fourth 
lawgiver, they say, was the king Bocchoris, 7 a wise 

3 This pronunciation seems to reflect a Hebrew form 
Yahu; ep. Psalma 68. 4>“His name is Jah.” 

4 Sasychis is the Asyohis of Herodotus (2. 136), identified 
with Shepseskaf of the Fourth Dynasty by H. R. Hali, 
Anclent History ofthe Near East e , p. 127. 

3 Cp. chaps. 63 ff. 

4 Cp. chap. 73. 

7 Mentioned before in chaps. 46, 66, 79. 



riva /axi iravovpyla Siatfrepovra. rovrov ovv 
Siardgai ra irepl rov<; paaiXeis airavra Kal ra 
irepl rcbv avp/3o\ai(iiv i%aicpi{iu>aar yeveadai S 
avrov /cal irepl ra<t tcpiaeis ovrio ovverov mare 
iroXXa rorv vir avrov SiayvmtT Oevrarv Sict rrjv 
irepirrorrjra pvrjpoveveadai P^XP L T & v Ka @’ 
rjp,a<; xpovoiv. Xeyovai 8’ avrov viraptjai ra> 
pev a (bpari iravreXm aadevrj, r& Se rpoirq> 
irdvrtov <frtXoxpvpaT(brarov. 

95. Me-ra 8e tovtov irpoaeXdeiv Xeyovai roh 
vopoi<s “Apacnv tov fiaaiXea, ov laropovai ra. 
irepl tovs vopdp%a<i Siardtjai Kal ra irepl rrjv 
avpiraaav ohcovoplav rrj<i Alyvirrov. irapaSe- 
Sorai Se avveros re yeyovevai Kad’ virepfioXrjv 
Kal tov Tpoirov emeiKrj<} Kal SUaios’ &v eveKa 
xal rovs Alyvirriov<; avrqt irepiredeiKevai rrjv 

2 apxh v °v K bvTi yevovi fiaaiXiKov. (fratri Se Kal 
rovi ’H Xeiows, airovSd^ovra<> irepl tov ’OXvp- 
ttikov 1 dy&va, irpea/3evra<; airoareiXai irpos 
avrov eptorrjaovra^ irdrs av yevoiro SiKaibraro^' 
tov S’ elirelv, eav prjSel ? ’H\etos ayurvl^rjrai. 

3 Ylo\vKparov<i Se tov Xapieov Svvaarov avvredei- 
pevov irpos avrov tfriXlav, Kal /3ialo)<i irpoatfre- 
popevov rots re iroXlrai<; Kal rot<s el<} 2 apov 
KarairXeovai £evoi<;, ro pev irptbrov Xeyerat, 
irpea/3evrd<i cnroareiXavra irapaKaXeiv avrov em 
rrjv perpibrrjra' ov irpoaexovros S' avrov Tot? 
Xoyois emaroXrjv ypdrjrai rrjv tfriXlav Kal rrjv 
1-evlav rrjv irpot avrov SiaXvopevov' ov yap 
fiovXeodai Xvirrjdrjvai avvropo}<s eavrov, aKpifitbs 

1 ‘OKvfariKbc Vogel : OXv/xnanby C, Bebker, Dindorf. 

3 23 

BOOK I. 94. S-95. 3 

sort of a man and conspicuous for his craftiness. He 
drew up all the regulations which governed the kings 
and gave precision to the laws on contracts; and so 
wise was he in his judicial decisions as well, that 
many of his judgments are remembered for their 
excellence even to our day. And they add that he 
was very weak in body, and that by disposition he 
was the most avaricious of all their kings. 

95. After Bocchoris, they say, their king Amasis 1 1 
gave attention to the laws, who, according to their 
accounts, drew up the rules governing the nomarchs 
and the entire administration of Egypt. And tra- 
dition describes him as exceedingly wise and in 
disposition virtuous and just, for which reasons the 
Egyptians invested him with the kingship, although 
he was not of the royal line. They say also that the 
citizens of Elis, when they were giving their attention 
to the Olympie Games, sent an embassy to him to 
ask how they could be conducted with the greatest 
fairness, and that he replied, “ Provided no man of 
Elis participates.” And though Polycrates, the 
ruler of the Samians, had been on terms of friendship 
with him, when he began oppressing both citizens 
and such foreigners as put in at Samos, it is said that 
Amasis at first sent an embassy to him and urged 
him to moderation; and when no attention was paid 
to this, he wrote a letter in which he broke up the 
relations of friendship and hospitality that had existed 
between them; for he did not wish, as he said, to 
be plunged into grief in a short while, knowing right 

1 Cp. chap. 68. The story of the embassy of Eleans is given 
more fully in Herodotus (2. 160), where, however, the Egyptian 
king consulted is called Psammis. 



elhora 8ion 1 irXrjcrLov earlv ai/rw to /ca/cw ? 
iradeiv ovrw tt poearqtccm tj}? rvpavvL8o<i. 6av- 
paaBrjvai 8' avrov epacn irapa roit "E XXrjai 8ia 
re rrjv imeLxeiav /cal 8ia to t w TIo\vk paret 
T»^eW anofirjvai ra prjBevra. 

4 "E/crov 8e Xeyerai rov Bepgov irarepa Aapelov 
toIs vopotf eirurrrfvai rols rwv Aiyvirriwv 
pierrjcravra yap rrjv irapavopiav ttjv et? ra icar ’ 
Alyvirrov iepa yevopevrjv viro Kapfivaov rov 
irpofiacnXevcravTo? ^tfXwaat filov eiriei/cr} /cai 

5 < ptXodeov. opiXrjaai pev yap auTof? 2 tois 

Lepevai r ol? ev Alyvirrw /cal peraXaftelv avrov 
tj)s T€ OeoXoyiaf 3 /cal rwv ev rai? iepatf 
fiLfiXovi dvayey pappevwv irpagewv ex 8erovrwv 
Lcrrop/jaavra rr)v re peyaXo^jrvxlav rwv dpxalwv 
fiaaiXewv /cal rr)V eis toi)s dpxopevov? evvoiav 
ptp/jaaadai rov 4 e/celvwv /3Lov, /cal Sia rovro 
rrjXucavrr)? rv^elv ripfj? wo8' vi to rwv Aiyvirnwv 
'Cfi/vra pev deov irpoaayopeveaOat 5 povov rwv 
airdvrwv /3acnXewv, reXeurrjaavra Se npwv 
rv%elv tawv tois to iraXaiov vopipwrara /3aai- 
Xevaacri icar Aiyvirrov. 

6 /xev ovv Kotvrjv vopodealav crvvreXecr6r)vai 
cfiacnv viro rwv elpijpevwv dv8pwv, /cal 86%rp 
rv^eiv rrj? 8ia8e8opevr)? irapa tois a\\ois' ev 
8e roif verrepov xpovov; iroXXa rwv /caXw s 
evetv 8o/covvrwv vop.Lp.wv <paal /civrjdfjval, Ma/ce- 
Sovwv im/cparr]crdvrwv /cal /caraXvadvrwv eis 
TeXos rrjv fiaaCXeLav rwv eyxwpLwv. 

1 Sidit Vogel: Kti Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 

2 oiroit Vogel: oirix Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 

* aiiar after 9to\oyiai added by C, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 95. 3-6 

well as he did that misfortune is near at hand for the 
ruler who maintains a tyranny in such fashion. And 
he was admired, they say, among the Greeks both 
because of his virtuous character and because his 
words to Polycrates Vere speedily fulfilled. 

A sixth man to concem himself with the laws of 
the Egyptians, it is said, was Darius the father of 
Xerxes; for he was incensed at the lawlessness esi-ise 
which his predecessor, Cambyses, had shown in his B 0 ‘ 
treatment of the sanctuaries of Egypt, and aspired 
to live a life of virtue and of piety towards the gods. 
Indeed he associated with the priests of Egypt them- 
selves, and took part with them in the study of 
theology and of the events recorded in their sacred 
books; and when he learned from these books about 
the greatness of soul of the ancient kings and about 
their goodwill towards their subjects he imitated their 
manner of life. For this reason he was the object of 
such great honour that he alone of all the kings was 
addressed as a god by the Egyptians in his lifetime, 
while at his death he was accorded equal honours 
with the ancient kings of Egypt who had ruled in 
strictest accord with the laws. 

The system, then, of law used throughout the land 
was the work, they say, of the men just named, and 
gained a renown that spread among other peoples 
everywhere; but in later times, they say, many 
institutions which were regarded as good were 
changed, after the Macedonians had conquered and 
destroyed once and for all the kingship of the native 

4 iby Reiske: toii/. 

6 irpoiayopcveo9ui Bekker, Vogel: irpo<rayoptu97)vai II, Din¬ 



96. Tovtwv 8’ Bievxpivrjpevwv prjTeov 
oaoi twv rrap' "EXXrjai BeBo^aa pevwv errl avveaei 
xal rracSeia rrapeBaXov et? Aiyvmov ev rot? 
apf/aioit xpovoit;, iva twv evTavda vop.Lp.asv xal 

2 T979 1 7 raiBeias peraayasaiv. oi yap lepels tosv 
Alyvmiasv Icnopovaiv ex tosv avaypacfsasv tosv 
ev t at? tepat? /3t'/3\ot? rrapa/3aXeiv 7rpo? eavTOix: 2 
t o rraXaiov ’0 pcfsea re /cal Movaalov /cal Me- 
XaprroBa /cal AaLBaXov, rrpo<; Be tovtois" Oprjpov 
re tov rrotrjTTjV «at Avxovpyov rov %rrapTiaTrjv, 
en Be XoXwva tov 'AOrjvalov «at IlXaTcova tov 
<f>iX6<TO(j}Ov, iXdelv Be /cal TlvBayopav tov 
Xapiov /cal tov padrjpaTi/cov EvBo^ov, eVt 8e 
Arjpo/cpiTOV tov ’ A.P8t)piTtjv /cal OlvorrLBrjv tov 

3 X lov* rrdvTosv Be tovtcov arjpela Beixvvovai 
tosv pev el/cova<i, tosv Be tottcov rj xaraaxevacr- 
paTasv 6 pwvv pov<; rrpoarjyopLaq, ex Te t ?)? kxd/JTW 
^rjXasdeicnpi rrai8eia<; arroBeL^eit cfsepovai, avv- 
lOTavTet eg AlyvrrTOV peTevtfve-yBai irclvTa 81 
wv rrapa rot? "EXXtjaiv eOavpdaOrjcrav. 

4 'Opcfsea pev yap tosv pvanxwv TeXeTWv to, 
irXelaTa xal t a irepl tijv eavTOv rrXdvrjv opyia- 
tppeva /cal ttjv tosv ev aBov pvdorrouav drre- 

5 vey/caaBai. TrjV pev yap 'OaLpiBos TeXeTrjv Trj 
Aiovvaov ttjv aiiTTjv elvai, ttjv Se T77? 'IcrtSo? 
Trj T77? ArjptjTpoi opoiOTaTtjv vrrapxeiv, tosv’ 
bvopdrwv pbvasv 3 evrfXXaypevasv' t a? Se twv 
acrefiwv ev aBov Tipaspla ? «at t ou? twv evae/Swv 
Xeipasvac; xal t a? rrapa t oh r roXXot? eLBwXo- 

1 TYjs Yogel: omitted Ynlgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 

* tavroifs Vogel: atiravs Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 

* pivtu/ Vogel: pivor Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK I. 96. 1-5 

96. But now that we have examined these matters, 
we must enumerate what Greeks, who have won 
fame for thelr wisdom and learning, vislted Egypt 
in ancient times, in order to become acquainted with 
its customs and learning. For the pricsts of Egypt 
recount from the records of their sacred books that 
they were visited in early times by Orpheus, Musaeus, 
Melampus, and Daedalus, also by the poet Homer 
and Lycurgus of Sparta, later by Solon of Athens 
and the philosopher Plato, and that there also came 
Pythagoras of Samos and the mathematician Eudoxus, 1 
as well as Democritus of Abdera and Oenopides 2 of 
Chios. As evidence for the visits of all these men 
thcy point in some cases to their statues and in others 
to places or buildings 3 which bear their names, and 
they offer proofs from the branch of learning which 
each one of these men pursued, arguing that all the 
things for which they were admired among the 
Greeks were transferred from Egypt. 

Orpheus, for instance, brought from Egypt most 
of his mystic ceremonies, the orgiastic rites that 
accompanicd his wanderings, and his fabulous 
account of his experiences in Hades. For the rite 
of Osiris is the same as that of Dionysus and that of 
Isis very similar to that of Demeter, the names alone 
having been interchanged; and the punishments in 
Hades ofthe unrighteous, the Fields ofthe Righteous, 
and the fantastic conceptions, current among the 

1 The famous astronomer, geographer, and mathematician 
of Cnidus, pupil of Plato. His stay in Egypt is well attested. 

» Cp. p. 336, n. 1. 

* For instance, aooording to Strabo (17. 1. 29), in Heliopolis 
were pointed out the houses where Plato and Eudoxus had 

3 2 7 


7roua? dvaireirXaapeva<s irapeta ayayetv ptprjad- 
ptevov Ta ytvopeva irepl t a? t a<pa<; t a? «ai 

6 AiyvirTov. tov pev yap ifrv^piropirbv 'Epprjv 
/cara to iraXatov irap AtyviTTtoi<; dva- 
yayovra to tov "AiriSo<s acopa pe^pt Ttvo? irapa- 
StSovai tS> ireptKetpevco t tjv tov Kepftepov irpoTO- 
prjv. tov 8’ 'Op<f>eco<; tovto /caTaSetgavTOS irapa 
t of? "EXKrjat tov "Opijpov a/coXovOco<{ tovtco 
detvat KaT& ttjv irotrjatv 

Eppfjs Se •v/cir^a? KvXXtjvio? efje/caXetTO 
avSpebv pvrjaTrjpcov, eyce Se paftbov peTCt ^epatv. 
etTa irdXtv virofiavTa Xeyetv 

irap 8’ iaav 'CL/ceavoi/ Te poa? /cal Aev/caSa 

TjSe irap' 'HeXtoto irvXa<! /cal Brjpov 'Ovetpcov 
fpaav aiyfra 8’ i/covto /cclt aacfroSeXov Xetpcbva, 
evda Te vatovat yfrv^ai, etScoXa /capovTcov. 

7 'il/ceavov pev ovv /caXetv tov iroTapov Sta to 
t ov? Alyvmlov<i /caTa ttjv IStav StaXe/CTOv 
’ il/ceavov Xeyetv tov N etXov, 'HXtov Se iri;\a? 
t tjv iroXtv ttjv tcov 'HXioTroXiTcbv, Xetpcbva 8’ 
ovopa^etv, 1 ttjv pvdoXoyovpevrjv otcctjotv tcov 
peTTjXXaxoTcov, tov irapa ttjv Xtpvijv tottov ttjv 
/caXovpevrjv pev 'A-yepovaiav, irXrjatov Se ovaav 
ttj<; M ep<peco<!, ov tcov irepl avirjv Xetpcovcov /caX- 
XiaTcov, e\ov? /cal Xcotov /cal /caXapov. a/co- 
Xovd to? 8’ elprjadai /cal to /caTOt/cetv tov? 
TeXevTijaavrat ev tovtoi? toZ? tottoi? Std to 
rdi tcov Atyvi ttIcov t a<f>cl<; Ta? irXetoTa<; /cal 
peyLaTas evTavda ytveadai, StairopOpevopevcov 

1 8 ’ 0V0fid(eiv Eichstadt: Si rofttfciv. 


BOOK I. 96. 5-7 

many, which are figments of the imagination—all 
these were introduced by Orpheus in imitation of the 
Egyptian funeral customs. Hermes, for instance, 
the Conductor of Souls, according to the ancient 
Egyptian custom, brings up the body of the Apis to 
a certain point and then gives it over to one who 
wears the mask of Cerberus. And after Orpheus 
had introduced this notion among the Greeks, 
Homer 1 followed it when he wrote : 

Cyllenian Hermes then did summon forth 

The suitors’ souls, holding his wand in hand. 

And again a little further 2 on he says: 

They passed Oceanus’ streams, the Gleaming 

The Portals of the Sun, the Land of Dreams; 

And now they reached the Meadow of Asphodel, 

Where dwell the Souls, the shades of men 

Now he calls the river “ Oceanus ” 3 because in their 
language the Egyptians speak of the Nile as Oceanus ; 
the “ Portals of the Sun ” ( Heliopylai) is his name for 
the city of Heliopolis ; and “ Meadows,” the mythical 
dwelling of the dead, is his term for the place near 
the lake which is called Acherousia, which is near 
Memphis, and around it are fairest meadows, of a 
marsh-land and lotus and reeds. The same explana- 
tion also serves for the statement that the dwelling of 
the dead is in these regions, since the most and the 
largest tombs of the Egyptians are situated there, the 

1 Odyssey 24. 1-2. 2 IUd. 11-14. 

* As a matter of faot the only name for the Nile in Homer 
is Aigyptos. 

3 2 9 


p-ev t&v veKp&v Sid re tov tt ora/iou Kal t 1 ?s 
'Axepovaia? Xlpvrjs, t i9epeva>v Se t&v ampaTiov 
et? ra? evravOa Keipevas 9r/Ka<t. 

8 Xvpcfxovelv Se Kal TaXXa Ta irapa rot? ''E\- 
Xpai Kad' aSov pv9oXoyovpeva t ot? en vvv 
yivopevoi? «ar’ Aiyvirrov' to pev ydp SicucopL^ov 
Ta a&fiaTa irXoiov f3apiv /caXeiaffai, to S' 
eirifiadpov 1 Tp irop9pel SiSoaQai, /ca\ovpevp 

9 KaTa Trjv eyx&piov SiaXeKTov xapwvi. elvai 
Se Xeyovai irXrjalov t&v tottoiv tovtosv Kal 
aKOTias 'E«aTj?? iepov Kal irvXa<: K.cokvtov Kal 
Arj9r]<; SieiXrjppevas ^a\«ot? o^eDo-iv. virdpxetv 
Se >cai aWa? 7ri5\a? ’AXij^e/a?, «ai irXrjaiov 
tovtcov eiScoXov axeipaXov eaTavai A t«i??. 

97. IloWa Se «ai t&v aXXiov t&v pepv9o- 
Troirjpevojv Siapeveiv irap' AlyvTTTioK, SiaTt]- 
povpevt)? eri tjj? irpoarjyopia^ Kal t>;? ev Tp 

2 irpaTTeiv evepyeiat. ev pev ydp ' Akov9&v iroXei, 
irepav tov N eiXov KaTa tt)v Ai/3vtjv airo aTaSicov 
eKaTov Kal etKoai t f}<; Mep^em, irl9ov elvai 
TeTpt)p,evov, ei? ov t&v iepeiov e^rjKovTa Kal 
TpiaKoaiovi Ka9’ e«da-n iv r/pepav vSeop <f>epeiv 

3 ei? avTov e« tov N eiXov’ tt/v Se irepl tov “Okvov 2 
pv9oircdav SeUvvaOai irXpaiov «ara t iva iravp- 
yvpiv avvTeXovpevpv, 7r\e«oj>To? pev eno? dvSpos 
apxpv axpiviov paKpav, iroXX&v S’ e’« t&v 

1 ri/iurna rbv ofio\bv after MpaSpov deleted hy Schafer. 

a “Okvov Stephanus : tvov. 

1 Cp. chap. 92; baris ia also a Greek word for hoat. 

2 The bronze bands would reaemble therays of the “ Portala 

of the Sun,’ ’ in the passage from Homer cited above. 


BOOK I. 96. 7-97. 3 

dead being ferried across both the river and Lake 
Acherousia and their bodies laid in the vaults 
situated there. 

The other myths about Hades, current among the 
Greeks, also agree with the customs which are prac- 
tised even now in Egypt. For the boat which 
receives the bodies is called baris, 1 and the passengers 
fee »is given to the boatman, who in the Egyptian 
tongue is called charon. And near these regions, 
they say, are also the “ Shades,” which is a temple 
of Hecate, and “ portals ” of Cocytus and Lethe, 
which are covered at intervals with bands of bronze. 2 
There are, moreover, other portals, namely, those of 
Truth, and near them stands a headless statue 3 of 

97. Many other things as well, of which mythology 
telis, are stili to be found among the Egyptians, the 
name being stili preserved and the customs actually 
being practised. In the city of Acanthi, for instance, 
across the Nile in the direction of Libya one hundred 
and twenty stades from Memphis, there is a per- 
forated jar to which three hundred and sixty priests, 
one each day, bring water from the Nile; 4 and not 
far from there the actual performance of the myth 
of Ocnus 5 is to be seen in one of their festivals, 
where a single man is weaving at one end of a long 

* The Greek word may mean “ statue” and “shade,” the 
latter meaning occuring in the last line of the passage ahove 
from Homer. 

1 Thia is a reference to the fifty daughters of Danaus, who 
after death were condemned to the endless lahour of pouring 
water into vessels with holes. 

6 Ocnus was another figure of the Greek underworld who 
was represented as continually lahouring at the weaving of a 
rope which was devoured hy an unseen ass hehind him as 
rapidly as it was woven. 



4 OTTltTlO XvOVTWV TO TrXe/COpeVOV. MeXapiroSa Se 
(f>a<ri peTevey/cetv ef Alyvinov ra At ovvaco vo/u- 
? o/ieva TeXetaOai irapa Tot? /cal t ct 

irepl Kpovov pv0oXoyovpeva /cal ra irepi Trjs 
T ijavop.axla<; /eat t 6 avvoXov ttjv irepl ra ird0ij 
6 T&v 0e&v loTopiav. tov Se AatSaXov Xeyovatv 
diropiprj<jaa0ai ttjv tov Xa/3vpiv0ov 7 rXo/cljv tov 
S tapevovToi pev p.e%pi tov vvv /catpov, 
dh>TO<i Se, <&? pev rive? (ftaatv, viro MevSijTOs, 
S’ evtot Xeyovatv, viro Mdppov tov fiaviXem, 
iroXXok 6T eat irpbiepov t>;? Mineo /3aatXela<;. 

6 tov Te pv0pov t&v aptatu v kut Alyvinav 
dvSptdvTwv tov avTov elvat toIs viro AatSaXov 
Kaiacnceva<j0etcn irapa rot? "EXXijat. to Se 
/eaXXto-Tov irpoirvXov ev Mepcftei tov ‘H cftat- 
OTetov AatSaXov dpxiTe/CTovrjaat, /cal 0avpaa- 
0evTa Tvxelv et/covo<; ^vXlvrjtf /caict to irpoetprj- 
aevov tepov Tat? ISiats %6/3<rl SeSrjptovpyTjpevTjt;, 

7 repas Se Sta ttjv ev<f>vtav djjtas0evTa peydXrjt; Sogrjn 
/cal iroXXa irpocregevpovTa Tv%elv t<ro0ea>v Ttpdtv 
/caTa yap plav twv irpex; Tjj Mepcftet vijawv en 
/cal vvv tepov elvat AatSaXov Ttp.dtp.evov vi ro tu>v 

7 T^? S’ 'Oprjpov irapovcrlas aXXa re oijpeta 
<pepovcn /cal paXtcna ttjv ttj<; 'E Xevrj<; yevopevrjv 
irapa M eveXdcp T rjXepdxov (ftappa/cetav /cal 
Xrj0rjv TOtv ovpfiefirj/coTWV /ca/c&v, to yap vrj- 
irev0e<i cjtdppa/cov, o Xa/3etv cftrjcnv 6 ttolt)tt)<; ttjv 
EXevrjv e/c twv AlyvirTtwv Qrjftwv irapa UoXv- 

1 Cp. chap. 61. 

* t.e. “ quieting pain.” Cp. Odyseey 4. 220-21: aMx’ ip’ 

is olvov $d\t tpupfiaKOP, tv6ev iinvov, vTfitfvBis t‘ Tt, 


BOOK I. 97. 3-7 

rope and many others beyond him are unravelling 
it. Melampus also, they say, brought from Egypt 
the rites which the Greeks celebrate in the name of 
Dionysus, the myths about Cronus and the War with 
the Titans, and, in a word, the account of the things 
which happened to the gods. Daedalus, they relate, 
copied the maze of the Labyrinth which stands to our 
day and was built, according to some, by Mendes, 1 
but according to others, by king Marrus, many years 
before the reign of Minos. And the proportions of 
the ancient statues of Egypt are the same as in those 
made by Daedalus among the Greeks. The very 
beautiful propylon of the temple of Hephaestus in 
Memphis was also built by Daedalus, who became 
an object of admiration and was granted a statue of 
himself in wood, which was made by his own hands 
and set up in this temple ; furthermore, he was 
accorded great fame because of his genius and, after 
making many discoveries, was granted divine 
honours; for on one of the islands off Memphis there 
stands even to this day a temple of Daedalus, which 
is honoured by the people of that region. 

And as proof of the presence of Homer in Egypt 
they adduce various pieces of evidence, and especially 
the healing drink which brings forgetfulness of all 
past evils, which was given by Helen to Telemachus 
in the horne of Menelaus. For it is manifest that 
the poet had acquired exact knowledge of the 
“ nepenthic ” 2 drug which he says Helen brought 
from Egyptian Thebes, given her by Polydamna the 

KaKav iirlK-qBov aieipTup. “ Straightway she cast into the wine 
of which they were drinking a drug to quiet all pain and 
strife, and bring forgetfulness of e very ill ” (tr. Murray in 



8apvi)<: Tt)? ®&i /o? yvvaiKo<:, d/cpi@a><; i%T)Tcucd><; 
(petiverat’ €tl yap /cal vvv Ta? ev ravTT) yvvatKat 
Trj Trpoeiprjpevr) Svvapei xprjtr0cu Xeyovai, /cal 
irapa povaa Tat? AiocnroXiTicnv e/c iraXai&v 
Xpovmv opyfjs koI Xvtttj<{ cfrdppaKOv evprjadai 
<f>aar Ta? Se ®jj/3a<; Kal Ato? iroXiv ttjv avTrjv 

8 vtt apyeiv. Tr)v re 'AtppoSlrrjv ovopd^eadai 
irapa Tot? iyxcopjois ypvar^v e/c naXaias irapa- 
Soaecof, /cal ireSiov etvai /caXovpevov xpvar}<; 
Atj/poS lttjs irepl Ttjv ovopa^opevrjv Mdpepcfnv. 

9 Ta Te 7r epl tov Aia /cal ttjv "Hpav pvQoXoyov- 
peva 7 cepi rrj<; crvvovaias /cal rr/v et’? AlOtoiriav 
e/cSrjpiav e/ceWev avTov perevey/ceiv' /car eviavrbv 
ydp irapa Tot? Aiyvmioi<i tov ve&v tov Ato? 
irepaioi/aBai tov iroTapbv et? rr/v Aiftvrjv, /cal 
pe6 rjpepas Tivat iraXiv eirtaTpecjieiv, tu? ii; 
AWioiriac; tov deov irapovTOV tt)v Te avvovtriav 
t&v 6e&v tovtcov, ev Tat? iravrjyvpecn t&v va&v 
avaKopi^opevwv dpifioTepcov ei? opo? avdecri 
iravTocoa viro t&v iepecav /caTeaTpatpevov. 

98. Kai A vKovpyov Se /cal UXaTcova /cal XoXa/va 
iroXXd tcov ei; AiyvirTov vopipcov ei? Ta? eav t&v 

2 /caTaTaijat, vopoffeciav, 11 vdayopav Te Ta /cara 
tov iepov Xoyov /cal tcl KaTa yecopeTpiav OecoprjpaTa 
/eat, Ta wepl too? apedpov ?, ert Se tt/v ei? irdv 
t&ov tt)? ■ifrvxn': ueTaQoXrjv padelv irap Alyv- 

3 7TTICOV. VTroXapfidvovtTi Se /cal Arjpo/cpiTov irap 
aoTot? Itt) SiaTptyai irevTe /cal iroXXd SiSa- 
X@Vvai t&v KaTa ttjv acrTpoXoyiav. tov Te 
OlvoTriSrjv o/toteo? crvvSiaTpi^ravTa Tot? lepevai 

1 A reference t o the epithet constantly used by Homer t o 

describe Aphrodite. 


BOOK I. 97. 7-98. 3 

wife of Thon; for, they allege, even to this day the 
women of this city use this powerful remedy, and in 
ancient times, they say, a drug to cure anger and 
sorrow was discovered exclusively among the women 
of Diospolis; but Thebes and Diospolis, they add, 
are the same city. Again, Aphrodite is called 
“ golden ” 1 by the natives in accordance with an 
old tradition, and near the city which is called 
Momemphis there is a plain " of golden Aphrodite.” 
Likewise, the myths which are related about the 
dalliance of Zeus and Hera and of their joumey to 
Ethiopia he also got from Egypt; for each year 
among the Egyptians the shrine of Zeus is carried 
across the river into Libya and then brought back 
some days later, as if the god were arriving from 
Ethiopia; and as for the dalliance of these deities, 
in their festal gatherings the priests carry the shrines 
of both to an elevation that has been strewn with 
flowers of every description. 2 

98. Lycurgus also and Plato and Solon, they say, 
incorporated many Egyptian customs into their own 
legislation. And Pythagoras learned from Egyptians 
his teachings about the gods, his geometrical pro- 
positions and theory of numbers, as well as the trans- 
migration of the soul into every living thing. Demo¬ 
critus 3 also, as they assert, spent five years among 
them and was instructed in many matters relating 
to astrology. Oenopides likewise passed some time 

’ The Homerie passage w __ 

14th Book of the lliad (11. 346 ff.): “ The son of Kronos 
olasped his consort in his arma. And beneath them the divine 
earth sent forth fresh new grass, and dewy lotus, and crocus, 
and hyacinth, thick and soft . . .” (tr. Lang, Leaf, Myers). 

s Democritus of Abdera, the distinguished scientist of the 
fifth century B.o., author of the “ atomic ” theory. 



Kal aaTpo\oyoi<; paOelv dXXa re Kal p,a\i<TTa 
tov rfXiaKov kvkXov <05 Xo^fjv p,ev e%ei ttjv 
iropetav, evavTiav Se toZ? aXXoi? aarpois rrjv 
4 ( popav iroieiTcU. vapairXr)ala)<; Se Kal tov 
l&vSogov aGTpoXoyrjaavra irap' ainoh Kal iroXXa 
t oyv xprjaifUDv eis Tovt "EW rjvas eKSovra rvyelv 
agioXoyov So^]<:. 

6 Tcov re ayaXfiaTOTroi&v t&v iraXai&v toixs 
pakiaTa Sio)vopaapevov<t SiaTeTpupevai Trap' 
avTOi<! T r)\eK\ea Kal %eoSwpov, tou? 'Poikov 
p,ev vlovs, KaTaaKevaaavTat Se tok 'S.apioK to 
6 tov ’Att6Wo)vo<; tov Uvtfiov £oavov. tov yap 
ayakp.aTO<i ev "2,dp.(p pev viro T^XewXeou? Igto- 
peiTai to rjfuav Sj]fiiovpyr]dfjvai, KaTa Se ttjv 
"E^ effov viro TaSe\<f>ov ©eoScopov to Ut epov 
pepo? avvTeXeaOfjvai’ avvTeOevTa Se irpb<s ak- 
\rj\a tcl peprj avp<f>o)velv ovtw<; oiUTe SoKelv 
vtf>’ evb<; to 7 rav epyov avvreTeXeoOai tovto 

1 tpyov <rw/TfTf\cirOai Vogel: au/xa K<nt<XKevi<TB<u CF, 
Bekker, Dindorf. 

1 Oenopides of Chios was a mathematician and astronomer 
of the fifth century B.o. Acoording to this statement he 
observed the obliquity of the eeliptic, which we now know to 
be about 23J°. The fact that the sun’s motion on the celestial 
sphere is slower than that of the stars causes an apparently 
retrograde movement of the sun relative to the stars. 

* Doubtless the eult statue. 

3 The following sentences are perplexing. The translator is 
comforted by the knowledge that they have vexed others who 
are more experienced both in Egyptian art and in Greek. 
This passage has been discussed last by Heinrich Schafer 
(Von agyptischer KvmP, Leipzig, 1930, pp. 350-61), and the 
remarks and translation of so distinguished an authority on 
Egyptian art deserve to be oited, and in the original. 


BOOK I. 98. 3-6 

with the priests and astrologers and learned among 
other things about the orbit of the sun, that it has 
an oblique course and moves in a direction opposite 
to that of the other stars. 1 Like the others, Eudoxus 
studied astrology with them and acquired a notable 
fame for the great amount of useful knowledge which 
he disseminated among the Greeks. 

Also of the ancient sculptors the most renowned so- 
j ourned among them, namely, Telecles and Theodorus, 
the sons of Rhoecus, who executed for the people 
of Samos the wooden a statue of the Pythian Apollo. 
For one half of the statue, as the account is given, 
was worked by Telecles in Samos, and the other half 
was finished by his brother Theodorus at Ephesus; 
and when the two parts were brought together they 
fitted so perfectly that the whole work had the 
appearance of having been done by one man. This 3 

“ Ich wflrde die Stelle aus Diodor dem Sizilier (nm 50 v. 
Chr.), die nicht so einfach ist wie sie scheint, am liebsten nur 
griechisch abdrucken, aber damit ware dem Leser nicht 
gedient; ich muss zeigen, wie ich sie auffasse. W. Schubart 
und U.v. Wilamowitz bin ich dafur dankbar, dass sie, denen 
der agyptische Sachverhalt nicht so klar vor Augen steht, mich 
aneinigen Stellen da vor bewahrt haben, ihn in Diodors Worte 
hineinzudeuten. Ein Trost in meiner Verlegenhcit ist mir 
gewesen, dass v. Wilamowitz mir schrieb, ‘ Die tlbersetzung 
der Diodorstelle ist in der Tat kniffiich, da er seine Vorlage, 
Heraklit [a slip of the pen for “ Hecataeus ’ ’—Tr.] von Abdera 
(um 300 v. Chr.), verschwommen wiedeigibt und uberhaupt ein 
so miserabler Skribent ist.’ Ich wage folgende freie Uber- 

”... Dieses Werkverfahren (namlich Statuen aus einzeln 
gefertigen Halften zusammenzusetzen) soli bei den Hellenen 
nirgends in Gebrauch sein, dagegen bei den Agyptem meistens 
angewendet werden. (Nur dort sei es denkbar.) Bei ihnen 
namlich bestimme man den symmetrischen Bau der Statuen 
nicht nach der freien Entscheidung des Auges, wie bei den 



Se to yevo<s ttjs epyaaias irapa pev rols "E\\ rjcri 
p.rjSajiw<s €7 riTTjSeveo-ffai, irapa Se Tots AiyvirTioKS 

7 paXiara ovvreAeioffai, 7 rap’ etceivoi<s yap ovk 
diro tt}<s /cara ttjv opaaiv tfravraaias ttjv avp,- 
fierpiav twv dyaXpdrwv tcpiveadai, tcaddirep 
irapa tok " EAArjaiv, d\\’ eireiSav tovs Ai&ov<s 
/caraKAtvwot 1 tcal pepicravTes KarepydowvTai, 
to TrjvucavTa to dvdAoyov airo twv eAaydorwv 

8 eVt ia jieyiora Aapj3dveo0af tov yap iravTO<s 
aco/jMTO? ttjv tcarao tcevTjv eis ev icat ehcoat jieprj 
/cal irpoaen TCTapTov Staipovpevovs ttjv oAtjv 
diroSiSovat <rvnp.eTpiav tov £wov. Sioirep orav 
irepl tov peyedovs oi Te^virai irpo<s dAArjAows 
avvdwvTai, ^wptadevres dir' dXArjXwv avp-tfrwva 
KaTaatcevd£ovai ra peyeOrj twv e/jywv ovraxs 
aiepi/3w<s ware eKirXrjgiv irapeyeLV ttjv ISiorrjra 

9 tjJs irpayp,aTela<s avrwv. to 8’ ev ttj 2a/z&> 
%6avov avp.<f>wvw? tt} twv AlyvmLwv tfuXoTeyvia 
/cara ttjv tcopv<f>Tjv 2 Sr^oTopovpevov Siopi^eiv 

1 KaTaK\(yatri Bekker, VogeI: Dindorf conjectured koto- 
9 Kopvtjrlir Rhodomann : opotpi\v. 

Hellcnen, sondem, nachdem man die Blocke bingelegt und 
gesondert zugerichtet habe, bielten sioh die Arbeiter dann, 
jeder innerbalb seiner Halfte, aber auoh in bezug auf die 
andere, an dieselben Verhaltnisse von den kleinsten bis zu den 
grossten Teilen. Sie zerlegten namlicb die Hohe des ganzen 
Korpers in einundzwanzig und ein Viertel Teile, und erreichten 
so den symmetrisohen Aufbau der Mensehengestalt. Hatten 
sioh also die (beiden) Bildhauer einmal uber die Grosse (der 
Statue) geeinigt, so stimmten sie, selbst von einander getrennt, 
die Einzelmasse ihrer Werkteile so genau zueinander, dass man 
ganz verblufft sei uber dieses ihr eigentiimlicbes Verfahren. 
So bestehe das Kultbild in Samos, eto.” 

1 No explanation of the “twenty-one and one-fourth” 

33 8 

BOOK I. 98. 6-9 

method of working is practised nowhere among the 
Greeks, but is followed generally among the Egyp- 
tians. For with them the symmetrical proportions 
of the statues are not fixed in accordance with the 
appearance they present to the artist’s eye, as is 
done among the Greeks, but as soon as they lay out 
the stones and, after apportioning them, are ready 
to work on them, at tliat stage they take the pro¬ 
portions, from the smallest parts to the largest; 
for, dividing the structure of the entire body into 
twenty-one parts and one-fourth 1 in addition, they 
express in this way the complete figure in its sym¬ 
metrical proportions. Consequently, so soon as the 
artisans agree as to the size of the statue, they 
separate and proceed to tum out the various sizes 
assigned to them, in such a way that they correspond, 
and they do it so accurately that the peculiarity of 
their system excites amazement. 2 And the wooden 
statue in Samos, in conformity with the ingenious 
method of the Egyptians, was cut into two parts 
from the top of the head down to the private parts 

parts has been found in any modem writer. W. Deonna 
(Dedale ou la Statue de la Grece Archaique, 2 vols., Paris, 1930) 
translates this sentenoe, and then adds (1. p. 229): “Mais 
I’6tude de I’art £gyptien r6vcle que celui-ci a connu, comme 
tout autre art, des proportions tri-s variables, tantdt oourtes, 
tantdt elanc^es, suivant Ies temps, et souvent k meme epoque, 
et qu’il n’est pas possible de fixer un canon precis.” 

2 Sinoe the Egyptian artist had no idea of perspective, eaoh 
part of a figure, or eaoh member of a group, was portrayed as 
if seon from direotly in front. Therefore the first training of 
an artist consisted in the making of the separate members of 
the body, whioh aoeounts for the many heads, hands, Iegs, feet, 
which come from the Egyptian schools of art. Sehafer (l.c., 
p. 316, op. p. 389) suggests that this practice may have given 
Diodorus the idea that the Egyptians made their statues out 
of previously prepared blocks of stone. 



tov £wov t o /xeuov pexpi tmk alBoicov, l<rd£ov 
ofioiu)'} eavrrp tt avToOev elvat 8’ avTO \eyovai 
Kara to ifKelarov irapeptpeph Tot? AlyuirrCoK, 
ta? av t a? pev ^et pa? e^ov TrapareTapeva<i, ra Se 
tTKeXrj 8iaj3e/3r}KOTa. 

10 Ile/M pev ovv tPov xar Aiyvirjov iaropovpivmv 
Kal pvia%iav dp/cel t a prjdevTa- yptlt Se 
icara ttjv eV dpxfj t^? /3 Lfikov irpoOeaiv ra? 
ef<5? Trpdgeis Kal pvdo\oyia<i eV ry pera ravryv 
Siigtpev, dpxyv iroiyadpevoi ra Kard ttjv ’Atrlav 
Tot? ’A aorpioif vpax^evra. 


BOOK I. 98. 9-10 

and the statue was divided in the middle, each part 
exactly matching the other at every point. And 
they say that this statue is for the most part rather 
similar to those of Egypt, as having the arms stretched 
stiffly down the sides and the legs separated in a 

Now regarding Egypt, the events which history 
records and the things that deserve to be mentioned, 
this account is sufficient; and we shall present in the 
next Book, in keeping with our profession at the 
beginning of this Book, the events and legendary 
accounts next in order, beginning with the part 
played by the Assyrians in Asia. 



Td8e eveanv ev t fj SevTepa tosv 
AioBdipov 0tfi\wv 

Tlepi Ni 'vov tov irptorov /3a<n\fv<ravT0<; «ara rrjv ’Arrlav 
Kal tuiv vir’ avTov irpa\$ivr(av. 

n«pt ryi ScpipapiSos yeveo-ecos Kal rrjs irepl avrr/v 

f2s Nu/os 6 ffamktvs ly r}pt rrjv %tpxpapiv Sia tj/v 
optrr/v avrrji. 

'iis Sfpipapt? TtX.tvn/j<ravTO% NiVou 8ia8«£a pivrj t rjv 
fiamAeiav ico AAas «ai peyaAa? irpa£a<; «VfTfAfVaro. 

Krto-is Ba/JvAaivo? Kal rijs kut avrrjv «aracncfir^? 
airayyeAia. 1 

Ilept toC Kptpamov Atyopevov Krjirov Kal tuiv aAAcov 
7W «ara rr;v Ba/JvAcoviai/ irapaSo(uiv. 

Srpareta 2«pipapi8os «is Atyv7rroi/ /cai AWtoirCav, «ri 
8« rr;v TvSuo/v. 

II«pt toiv airoyovcui/ ravri/s 2 tuiv fiamKevo-dvruiv Kara 
’Arrlav K al tt)s /car’ aurovs Tpv^rjs r« Kat paflupta?. 

fis «(T^aros 2apSavdira\.Aos o /3am\evs 8ia Tpvrfirjv 
airtfiaXt Tr/v dpxr/v viro ’ApfiaKov tov MtjSov. 

rifpi t<3i' XaASatW «ai tijs irapaTTjprjrreuii tuiv 

Ilcpi tuiv fiaa-iAeuiv tuiv Kara rrjv MrjSlav Ka.1 Trjs irtpl 
tovtuiv Sia<f>uiv(ai irapa tois io-ropioypai^ois. 

II«pt ro7ro0«frtas t^s TvSudjs /cai rcuv /cara r^v x<Lpav 
<f>vop(vuiv Kal tuiv irap‘ ’Iv8ots vop.lp.uiv. 

1 &wayye\ta omitted by D, Vogel. 

1 ku 1 after tuAttis deleted by Dindorf. 



On Ninus, the first king in Asia, and his deeds 
(chaps. 1-3). 

On the birth of Semiramis and her rise (chaps. 

How King Ninus married Semiramis because of 
her outstanding ability (chap. 6). 

How Semiramis, ascending the throne on the death 
of Ninus, accomplished many great deeds (chap. 7). 

The founding of Babylon and an account of its 
building (chaps. 7-9). 

On the hanging garden, as it is called, and the 
other astonishing things in Babylonia (chaps. 10-13). 

The campaign of Semiramis against Egypt, 
Ethiopia, and India (chaps. 14-20). 

On her descendants who were kings in Asia and 
their luxury and sluggishness (chaps. 21-22). 

How Sardanapallus, the last king, because of his 
luxuriousness lost his throne to Arbaces the Mede 
(chaps. 23-28). 

On the Chaldaeans and their observation of the 
stars (chaps. 29-31). 

On the kings of Media and the disagreement of 
historians upon them (chaps. 32-34). 

On the topography of India and the products of 
the land, and on the customs of the Indians (chaps. 




Ilepi %KV0i ov Kal ’Apaijavutv Kal 'Yircp^opcuiV. 

II fpl rijs 'Apa/Jias Kal tZv Kar avTtjv (f>vop.ivu>v Kal 

II«pi tu>v vytraiv iw tV t § piaqpjipia «ara tov utKtavbv 

On the Scythians, Amazons, and Hyperboreans 
(chaps. 43-47). 

On Arabia, and the products of the land and its 
legends (chaps. 48-54). 

On the islands which have been discovered to the 
south in the ocean (chaps. 55-60). 


1. 'H pev irpo TavTy<s ftl/3Xo<; Tyt oXy<; avv- 
t dfew? ova a irp&Tij irepie\et ra? kclt' Alyviriov 
7 rpageis' iv ah virapxei ra re irepl t &v 9e&v 
irap Alyuiraioi^ pvOoXoyovpeva ical irepl t/j? tov 
N elXov (pvaeo)<; ical TaXXa ia irepl tov iroTapov 
tovtov irapaSogoXoyovpeva, irpl ? Se tovtoiv irepl 
T6 irj<: kot Atyviriov X^P a<s Kal ™ v dpxalcov 
fiaaiXecov i a vrfi' eicdaiov irpaxOevra. egi}? Se 
KaTeiaxOriaav ai icaiaaiceval t&v irvpaplScov 
t&v dvaypa<f>opeva>v iv t oh eirra Oavpa^opevoK 
epyoK. eirena 1 hirfXOopev irepl t&v vopcov Kal 
t&v SiKaaTijpieov, eTi Se t&v d<f>iepa>pevo)v £&a>v 
irap' AlyvinioK ia Oavpa^opeva, irpb<s Se tovtok; 
t a irepl t&v TeTeXevTtjKOTtov vopipa, Kal t&v 
'EXXyvtov oaoi t&v iirl iraiSela 6avpa£opevmv 
irapaftaXovTes eh Aiyvinov Kal 7roWa t&v 
Xprjalpcov pa66vie<: peiyveyKav eh t rjv 'EWaSa. 
iv TavTjj S’ dvaypd-tyopev t a? /cara ttjv 'Aalav 
yevopevat irpd^ei<s iv rot? apxaloK XP° V0K > T V V 
dpxyv airo tt)<s t&v ' Aaavplwv rjyepovla<s iroirj- 

To iraXaibv tolvvv /tara ttjv 'Aalav virrjpx°v 
iyX&pioi /3 aaiXeh, &v ovTe irpagis iirlaypo<s ovie 
ovopa pvypoveveTai. irp&Toe; Se t&v et? laTopiav 
Kal fj.vyp.rjv irapaBeSopevcov rjpiv Nti/o? 6 /3aai,Xev<; 
t&v ‘Aaavpleov peyaXas irpd^en iireTeXeaaTO' 



The preceding Book, being the first of the whole 
work, embraces the facts which concern Egypt, among 
which are included both the myths related by the 
Egyptians about their gods and about the nature 
of the Nile, and the other marvels which are told 
about this river, as well as a description of the land 
of Egypt and the acts of each of their ancient kings. 
Next in order came the structures known as the 
pyramids, which are listed among the seven wonders 
of the world. After that we discusscd such matters 
connected with the laws and the courts of law, and also 
with the animals which are considered sacred among 
the Egyptians, as excite admiration and wonder, 
algo their customs with respect to the dead, and then 
named such Greeks as were noted for their learning, 
who, upon visiting Egypt and being instructed in 
many useful things, thereupon transferred them to 
Greece. And in this present Book we shall set forth 
the events which took place in Asia in the ancient 
period, beginning with the time when the Assyrians 
were the dominant power. 

In the earliest age, then, the kings of Asia were 
native-born, and in connection with them no memory 
is preserved of either a notable deed or a personal 
name. The first to be handed down by tradition 
to history and memory for us as one who achieved 
great deeds is Ninus, king of the Assyrians, and of him 

1 eirena Bekker, Vogel : eirena Se D, Dindorf. 



irepl ov t h tccnh pepo? dvaypatpeiv neipaabpeOa, 
yevopevo? yap cpvoei iroXepi/cb? /cal f^XwTr/? TJ79 
apeTrj? /cad&itXiae t&v veoov tov? /cpaTiaTOV?' 
yvpvaaa? S' avTov? irXelova yjpbvov crvvrjdei? 
eTTolriae iraa-rj /ca/covadela /cal TroXepiKol? /civ- 

5 Svvoi?. avcrTTjadpevo? ovv crTpaTOTreSov dljio- 
Xoyov avppaxlav eirottjaaTO tt po? ’Apiaiov tov 
fiacriXea Trj? ’ Apaf3la?, f) /car’ e/celvov? ro 119 
Xpbvo lv eSo/cei tcXr/Oeiv dX/clpcov dvSp&v. eart 
8e /cal /ca&oXov tovto to edvo? (piXeXev&epov /cal 
kut’ ovSeva rpoirov ir poaSexopevov eir tjXvv 
1 rjyepbva• Sioirep ovd' ol t&v tlepa&v fiaoiXei? 
vffTepov ov6' ol t&v Ma/ceSovcov, /calirep nXelcnov 
iaXvaavTe?, rjbvv/jdrjcrav tovto to edvo? Ktna- 

6 oovXcoaaadai. /cadoXov yap r/'Apajdia SvcriroXe- 
pyTo? icrTi Revocat 9 Svvdpeai Sia to Ttjv pev 
epypov avTrj? elvcu, Trp> 8 e avvSpov /cal SieiXyp- 
(.ievr)v ' (ppeaoi /ce/cpvppevoi? /cal povoi? toi 9 

7 eyxcoploi? yvcopi&pevot?. 6 8’ ovv t&v ' Aaavplmv 
/3 aaCXev? N1V09 tov SvvaoTevovTa t&v ’Apdf3<ov 
irapaXafi&v etnpaTevae peTa TroXXy? Svvdpeai? 
eVt BaftvXa/vlov? /caToi/covvTa? opopov x^P av ' 
/caT e/celvov? Se tov? xpbvov 9 y pev vi/v ovaa Ba/3v- 
X&v ov/c r/v etcTurpePT), /caT<i Se Tr\v Ba/3vXcovlav 
virrjpxov aXXai iroXei 9 dgioXoyoi- paSla >9 Se 
Xeipaxrapevo 9 tov 9 eyx<oplov? Sta to t&v ev toi 9 
iroXepoi 9 /cLvSvvcov airelpa>? ex^iv, tovtoi? pev 
erafe TeXelv /caT iviavTov &piapevov 9 epopov 9, 
tov Se fiacnXea t&v /caTairoXepyd evTcov Xajd&v 

8 peTa t&v Te/cvoiv aixpaXcoTov dire/CTetve. perct 
Se TavTa ttoXXol? irXrjdeaiv ei? t/)v 'Appevlav ep- 
ftaX&v /cal Tiva? t&v iroXecov avacnaTov? iroiyaa? 

BOOK II. 1. 4-8 

we shall now endeavour to give a detailed account. 
For being by nature a warlike man and emulous of 
valour, he supplied the strongest of the young men 
with arms, and by training them for a considerable 
time he accustomed them to every hardship and all 
the dangers of war. And when now he had collected 
a notable army, he formed an alliance with Ariaeus, 
the king of Arabia, a country which in those times 
seems to have abounded in brave men. Now, in 
general, this nation is one which loves freedom and 
under no circumstances submits to a foreign ruler; 
consequently neither the kings of the Persians at a 
later time nor those of the Macedonians, though the 
most powerful of their day, were ever able to enslave 
this nation. For Arabia is, in general, a diflicult 
country for a foreign army to campaign in, part of it 
being desert and part of it waterless and supplied 
at intervals with wells which are hidden and known 
only to the natives. 1 Ninus, however, the king of the 
Assyrians, taking along the ruler of the Arabians as 
an ally, made a campaign with a great army against 
the Babylonians whose country bordered upon his—in 
those times the present city of Babylon had not yet 
been founded, but there were other notable cities in 
Babylonia—and after easily subduing the inhabitants 
of that region because of their inexperience in the 
dangers of war, he laid upon them the yearly payment 
of fixed tributes, but the king of the conquered, 
whom he took captive along with his children, he put 
to death. Then, invading Armenia in great force 
and laying waste some of its cities, he struck terror 

1 Arabia and its peopies are more fully described in cbaps. 

35 * 


KareTrXijgaTO roiis eyxcopiovv S/oirep 6 ftacnXei/s 
ai/T&v Bap^dvrjt, op&v avTov ov/c a.fybp.ayov ovTa, 
p£T& ttoXX&v S&pcov amjvTTjae /cal irav ecftijae 

9 ico/rjaeiv to irpotnaTTopevov. 6 Se NtVo? peya- 
XoyJrv%a)$ ai)T& xpr)<rap.evo<; tt}? re 'AppevLat 
avvexMpijtrev apxeiv /cal cf/iXov ovra irepnreiv 
crTpaTiciv /cal rrjv x°P r ll lav T V c^erepu arparo- 
ireSo). ael Se paXXov av^op.eva icrparevaev et? 

10 ttjv MrjSlav. 6 Se t ai/TTj/j /3aaiXev<; <E> dpvo<i 
irapa.Ta!;dp£vo<i d^ioXoya Svvdpet /cal XeifyOeis, 
t&v re crTpaTLa>Td>v tou<; TrXewvs 1 direjSaXe /cal 
avTos p,erd Te/cvcov e-rrra /cal yvvaucbs alxp-dXaiTOS 
Xijcf>9el<i dveaTavpwdr). 

2. Ovtco Se t&v Trpaypdrodv t& N Ivtp irpo- 
X<opovvTa>v Setvrjv eitiQvpiav e<7%e tov kcltci- 
crTpe\\racrdcu ttjv 'Aaiav diraaav ttjv ci/to? 
T avaiSo<t /cal NetAoir d>? iirirrav yap toi? evTv- 
Xovcriv rj t&v 'irpayp.dTtov evpoia 2 ttjv tov 
TrXecovo<: eiriQvpiav TrapltTTrjai. Sioirep ttjs p.ev 
Mj?St'a? aaTpdirrjv eva t&v irepl avTov cf>iXtov 
/caTecrTpcrev, a lito? S’ iirrjei t ct /caTa ttjv 'Aaiav 
Wvt) KaTaaTpe<j)6pevo<!, /cal XP° V0V eirTa/caiSe- 
/caeTT) KaTavaX&cra<! ttXtjv 'IvS&v /cal Ba/CTpiav&v 

2 t&v aXXcov airdvTav /cvpios iyeveTO. t a? pev 
ovv /ca9' e/ca/TTa /td^a? fj tov apidpov diravTwv 
t&v /caTaiToXep,TjdevT<i)v oi/Seli t&v crvyypa<j>ea>v 
dveypayjre, to. S' imcnjpoTaTa t&v edv&v a/co- 
Xovffa)'} K.TTj(Tca t& KviSia/ TreipacropeOa avvTop.wi 

3 KaTeoTpetyaTO pev yap tt/s irapadaXaTTLOV 
1 ir \elous Vogel: irAeiV-rouj Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK II. i. 8-2. 3 

into the inhabitants; consequently their king 
Barzanes, realizing that he was no match for him in 
battle, met him with many presents and announced 
that he would obey his every command. But Ninus 
treated him with great magnanimity, and agreed that 
he should not only continue to rule over Armenia 
but should also, as his friend, furnish a contingent 
and supplies for the Assyrian army. And as his power 
continually increased, he made a campaign against 
Media. And the king of this country, Phamus, 
meeting him in battle with a formidable force, was 
defeated, and he both lost the larger part of his 
soldiers, and himself, being taken captive along with 
his seven sons and wife, was crucified. 

2. Since the undertakings of Ninus were prospering 
in this way, he was seized with a powerful desire to 
subdue ali of Asia that lies bctween the Tanais 1 and 
the Nile; for, as a general thing, when men enjoy 
good fortune, the steady current of their success 
prompts in them the desire for more. Consequently 
he made onc of his friends satrap of Media, while he 
himself set about the task of subduing the nations of 
Asia, and within a period of seventeen years he became 
master of them all except the Indians and Bactrians. 
Now no historian has rccorded the battles with each 
nation or the number of all the peoples conquered, 
but we shall undertake to run over briefly the most 
important nations, as given in the account of Ctesias 
of Cnidus. 2 

Of the lands which lie on the sea and of the others 

1 The Don. 

* On Ctesias see the Introduction, pp. xxvi-xxvii. 

ftipoia Herwerden: intppoia. 



xal rrjs ayvexovs ^d>pa>j rjv re Aiyvi ttov xal 
Qoivlxrjv, en Se KoiXrjv Xvplav xal KiXixlav xal 
Uap<pvXlav xal Avxlav, irpos Se Tavrais ttjv re 
Kaplav xal (t>pvylav 1 xal AvSlav, tt potnjydyeTO 
Se ttjv re TppdSa xal ttjv ecf> 'EXXijtrirovTip 
<t>pvyiav xal tlpoirovnSa xal Bidvvlav xal Kair- 
vaSoxlav xal ra xara tov Uovtov e&vtj /3dp/3apa 
xaToixovvra pexpi TavaiSos, exvpievae Se ttjs 
re KaSovaluv xal Tairuprov, en 8' 

Tpxavuov xal Aparyy&v, 7rpo? Se tovtois 
Aep&lxwv xal Kappavlcov xal Xatpopvalcov, en 
Se Bopxavlcov xal TLapOvaitov, evrfXde Se xal 
ttjv UepalSa xal ttjv Xovtnavrjv xal ttjv xaXov- 
pevrjv Kaairtavijv, eis rjv elaiv elaftoXal areval 
navTeXws, Sio xal irpoaayopevovrai Kdairiai 
4 TrvXai. TroXXa Se xal aXXa rd>v eXarrovcov 
eOvarv TrpoaijydyeTO, irepl d>v paxpov av eiTj 
Xeyeiv. ttjs Se BaxTpiavrjs ovarjs SvaeiajUoXov 
xal irXrfit) paxlprov avSpSiv exovarjs, eireiSrj 
TroXXa irovrjtras airpaxros eyeveTO, tov pev irpb<i 
BaxTpiavovs iroXepov eis eTepov avefidXeTO 
xaipov, Tas Se Svvapets avayaytov eis ttjv 
Atravplav egeXegaTO tottov evOerov eis voXecos 
peydXrjs xnaiv. 

3. EnupavecrTaTas yap irpat-eis t&v irpo avTov 
xaTeipyaapevos eairevSe TrfXixavnjv xnaai to 
peyeftos ttoXiv mcttc prj povov ainrjv ehai peyl- 
<ttt)v tS>v totc ovo&v xaTa iraaav ttjv olxovpevrjv, 
dXXa prjSe t&v peTayeveorepoiv eTepov evi/3aX6- 
2 pevov paSlcos av virepOeaOai. tov pev ovv t&v 
ApafUrov /3acrtXea npTjcras Stbpois xal Xatjrvpois 
peyaXoirpeireaiv direXvae pera Ttjs ISias (JTpands 

BOOK II. 2. 3-3. 2 

which border on these, Ninus subdued Egypt and 
Phoenicia, tlien Coele-Syria, Cilicia, Pamphylia, and 
Lycia, and also Caria, Phrygia, and Lydia; moreover, 
he brought under his sway the Troad, Phrygia on 
the Hellespont, Propontis, Bithynia, Cappadocia, and 
all the barbarian nations who inhabit the shores of 
the Pontus as far as the Tanais; he also made him- 
self lord of the lands of the Cadusii, Tapyri, Hyrcanii, 
Drangi, of the Derbici, Carmanii, Choromnaei, and 
of the Borcanii, and Parthyaei; and he invaded both 
Persis and Susiana and Caspiana, as it is called, which 
is entered by exceedingly narrow passes, known for 
that reason as the Caspian Gates. Many other 
lesser nations he also brought under his rule, about 
whom it would be a long task to speak. But since 
Bactriana was difficult to invade and contained 
multitudes of warlike mcn, after much toil and 
labour in vain he deferred to a later time the war 
against the Bactriani, and leading his forces back 
into Assyria selected a place excellently situated for 
the founding of a great city. 

3. For having accomplished deeds more notable 
than those of any king before him, he was eager to 
found a city of such magnitude, that not only would 
it be the largest of any which then existed in the whole 
inhabited World, but also that no other ruler of a later 
time should, if he undertook such a task, find it easy 
to surpass him. Accordingly, after honouring the 
king of the Arabians with gifts and rich spoils from 
his wars, he dismissed him and his contingent to 

1 xai UvaCav after Qpoyiav, omitted by D, is dcleted by 
KaUenberg, Textkrihk und Sprachgebrauch Diodori, I. 4. 



et? ttjv obceiav, avTot Se ra? nravraybBev Svvdpe t? 
/eat TrapaaKevas vavTeov t&v eirnTjSeiwv a6poiaa<t 
irapd t ov E iMppaTrjv iroTapov eKTiae irbXiv ev 
Tereidap.kvi)v, eTepoprjKes avTrjt vvooTTjadpevo<; 
t o ayrjpa. e'%e Se t&v pev patcporeptov irXevp&v 
exarepav rj iroXit exarov ical irevTrjKOVTa aTaSiwv, 
t&v Se ftpaxvTepwv evevrjKovTa. Sio ical t ov 
avpTravTOS irepifioXov avaTaBevTOt en (naSUuv 
TeTpcucoalwv /eat oySorjKOVTa t?}? eXiri So? ov 
Sie^jrevadrj' TrjXiKavrrjv yap irbXiv ovSels vaTepov 
eKTiae /tara re to peyeBos tov 7 repi/3oXov /tat ttjv 
nepl to Tei ^05 peyaXoir peveiav. to pev yap 
v\fro<i et^e to T£t%o? ttoS&v e/earot/, to Se 7r\dro? 
Tpiaiv appaaiv i-nirdaipov rjv oi Se avpiravTet 
irvpyoi tov pev apiBpov rjaav %iXioi Kai irevTa- 
Koaioi, to S' v\fro<; el%ov ttoS&v Siatcoalmv. 
KaT&Kiae S’ et? avTtjv t&v pev 'Aaavptcov t ow 
irXeiaTOVs /tat SvvaTO)TaTOV<;, airo Se t&v aXXcov 
e6v&v Tovt fiovXopAvow/. Kal ttjv pev 7 roXiv 
wvbpaaev a<f>’ eavTov Nti /ov, t ot? Se KaToiKiaOelai 
ttoXXtjv tj}? opbpov %eipa? irpoa&piaev. 

4. ’E7rel Se peTa ttjv ktioiv Taxnrjv 6 Nti/o? 
eaTpaTevaev eVt ttjv BaKTpiavrjv, ev rj XepLpapiv 
eyrjpe ttjv emtjraveaTdTTjv diraa&v t&v yvvaiK&v 
&v irapeiXrjfyapev, dvayKatov eaTi irepl avTrj<; 
Trpoeivelv 7T(S? e/e Taireivfj<; TV~)(T]t et? TrjXiKavTijv 
■nporjxBrj S6%av. 

1 The eity of Nineveh, which lay on the east bank of the 
Tigris, not on the Euphrates. Strabo (16. 1. 3) says that it 
was “ much greater ” than Babylon, wliose Circuit, as given 
below (7. 3), was 360 stades. 

2 It is believed with reason that bchind the mythical figure 
of Semiramis, made famous by Greek and Boman legend, 

BOOK II. 3. 2-4. 1 

retum to their own country and then, gathering his 
forces from every quarter and all the necessary 
material, he founded on the Euphrates river a eity 1 
which was well fortified with walls, giving it the form 
of a rectangle. The longer sides of the eity were 
each one hundred and fifty stades in length, and the 
shorter ninety. And so, since the total Circuit 
comprised four hundred and eighty stades, he was 
not disappointed in his hope, since a eity its equal, 
in respect to either the length of its Circuit or the 
magnificence of its walls, was never founded by any 
man after his time. For the wall had a height of 
one hundred feet and its width was sufficient for three 
chariots abreast to drive upon; and the sum total of 
its towers was one thousand five hundred, and their 
height was two hundred feet. He settled in it 
both Assyrians, who constituted the majority of the 
population and had the greatest power, and any who 
wished to come from all other nations. And to the 
eity he gave his own name, Ninus, and he included 
within the territory of its colonists a large part of 
the neighbouring country. 

4. Since after the founding of this eity Ninus made 
a campaign against Bactriana, where he married 
Semiramis, 2 the most renowned of all women of whom 
we have any record, it is necessary first of all to teli 
how she rose from a lowly fortune to such fame. 

“ a sort of Assyrian Catherine II, distinguiahed equally in war 
and for aensuality ’ ’ (How and Wells, A Commmtary on Herodo¬ 
tus, 1. p. 143), lies the historical Sammu-ramat, who was 
queen-regent in the opening years of the reign of her son 
Adad-nirari III, 811-782 b.c. About her in the eourse of the 
centuries gathered many attributes of the Babylonian goddess 
Ishtar; her son greatly extended the Assyrian power (see 
The Catribridge Ancient Histon/, 3. pp. 27 f., 183-4). 



2 KaTa Trjv Xvplav rolvvv ean rroXis 'AaKaXcov, 
Kal ravrrjs ovk arrcoOev Xlfivrj fieydXr) /eat fiaffeia 
rrXrjprjs lyOvcov. iraph Se ravrrjv vrrdpxei re- 
p,evos 6eas imifiavovs, fjv ovop-d^ovaiv ol 'S.vpoi 
AepKerovv avrrj Se ro p,ev rr poaiorrov e%et 
yvvaiKos, ro 8’ dXXo ad>p,a irav l-^&vos Sid rivas 

3 roiavras atrlas. fivBoXoyovaiv ol Xoyidraroi 
ra>v eyxaplcov rrjv ’A<ppoSlrrjv rrpooKo-tyaaav rfj 
7r poetpvjfjievrj 6ea Seivov ep,/3aXeiv epcora veavlaKov 
rivos ra>v ffvovrav ovk aetSovs 1 rr/v Se A epKerovv 
puyeiaav ro> Si >pa> yevvijaai pev Bvyarepa, Karai- 
axwOeiaav S’ iirl rois r)p,aprr)p.evois rov fiev 
veavioKov aipavlaai, ro Se rraiSiov ets rivas 
eprjp.ovs Kal 7 rerpdSeis roirovs i^eivai- 1 eavrrjv 
Se Sia rrjv alaxvvrjv /eat Xwrrjv ptyaaav eis rrjv 
Xtpvr/v p,eraax r lf J - aTlcr @y va i toi/ rov adp-aros 
rvrrov eis 1x8vv Sio /eai rovs Hvpovs /re^pi rov 
vvv drrexeaOai rovrov rov £a>ov Kal np,av rovs 

4 ix^vs d>s Oeovs. rrepl Se rov rorrov orrov ro 
/3pe<f>os etjereOrj ifkrjdovs rrepiarepcbv evveor- 
revovros rrapaSogas Kal Saip.ovla>s viro rovriov 
ro rraiSiov 8iarpe<f>ea0af ras p-ev yap rais 
rrrepogi rrepie-yovaas ro aSspa rov /3pe<f>ovs 
rravraxoOev GaXrreiv, ras 8’ eK ra>v avveyyvs 
erravXeeov, orrore rrjpijaeiav rovs re ftovKoXovs 
Kal rovs aXXovs vopeis drrovras 2 iv ra> aropian 
(pepovaas yaXa 8iarpe<f>eiv rrapaarafyvaas ava 

1 So Rhodomann : 4k9(? vai iv oTs iroWov ir \4i8ovs irepurrep&v 
ivvoaatitiv eiaBoroi vapa56£as TpoQrjs Kal aur-pplat rvx e ‘” rb 
ppirpos (“where a great multitude ol doves were wont to 
have tlieir nests and where the babe came upon nourish- 
ment and safety in an astounding manner”). Almost the 
very same words are repeated in the following sentence. 


BOOK II. 4. 2-4 

Now thcre is in Syria a city known as Ascalon, and 
not far from it a large and deep lake, full of fish. On 
its shore is a precinct of a famous goddess whom the 
Syrians call Derceto; 1 and this goddess has the head 
of a voman but all the rest of her body is that of a 
fish, the reason being something like this. The 
story as given by the most learned of the inhabitants 
of the region is as follows: Aphrodite, being offended 
with this goddess, inspired in her a violent passion 
for a certain handsome youth among her votaries; 
and Derceto gave herself to the Syrian and bore a 
daughter, but then, filled with shame of her sinful 
deed, she killed the youth and exposed the child 
in a rocky desert region, while as for herself, from 
shame and grief she threw herself into the lake and 
was changed as to the form of her body into a fish; 
and it is for this reason that the Syrians to this day 
abstain from this animal and honour their fish as gods. 
But about the region where the babe was exposed 
a great multitude of doves had their nests, and by 
them the child was nurtured in an astounding and 
miraculous manner; for some of the doves kept the 
body of the babe warm on all sides by covering it 
with their wings, while others, when they observed 
that the cowherds and the other keepers were absent 
from the nearby steadings, brought milk therefrom 
in their beaks and fed the babe by putting it drop 

1 Another name for the Phoenician Astarte. Herodotus 
(1. 105) calls the goddess of Ascalon the “Heavenly Aphro¬ 

* iir/War Ursinus, Vogel: omitted ACDFG ; ivras all 
other MSS., Bekker, Dindorf. 



6 peaov t Sjv xeiXiov. eviavaiov Se tov iraiSiov 
yevopevov Kal aTepeo)Tepa<; t po(f>i)<; irpoaSeo- 
pevov, t a? irepunepa*; diroKvi£ovoa<: diro tS>v 
rvp&v irapeyeaQai t po<f>t)v dpKovaav. too? Se 
vopei<s eiraviovra<: Kal Oecopovvrai; tt epi/3e/3pa>- 
pevov<; tov<s Tvpovi davpdoai to irapdSogov 
irapaTqprjaavTa<i ovv /eat pa9ovra<; t rjv alriav 
6 evpeiv to @pe(j>o<s, Sia6epov tG> KaXXei. evBvi 
ovv avTO Koptaavras ei? ttjv eiravXtv SwpijcraaBai 
tw irpoeoTij/coTi tS>v fBaaiXiKtbv kttjv&v, ovopa 
Xippa- Kal tovtov areKvov ovra t b iraiSiov 
rpefieiv cl>? Bvydrpiov perii irdar}<; eiripeXeias, 
ovopa Bepevov Hepipapiv, oirep earl xard ttjv 
tcov Hvpwv SulXe/CTov 7r aporvo paapevov atro tutv 
■ nepiorepiov, a? dv' i/ceiviov twv y_pova>v oi /cara 
2 vpiav anavT£<! SiereXeaav c!>? 0ea<! TipcovTes• 

5. Td pev ovv Kara ttjv yeveaiv tt)<i Hepipa- 
piSov pvBoXoyovpeva a^eSov tovt eariv. tjStj 
S’ avT?j>i rjXtKiav ixovorjs ydpov Kal t& KaXXei 
ttoXv xa? aXXa? irapOevov<; Sia^>epovatj<;, dire- 
araXt) irapa /3aaiXeco<; dirapio? eTruxKe^opevos 
ra fiaoiXiKa kttjvtj' ovtoi b' eKaXeiro pev 
“Ovtnjs, tt/jwto? S’ rjv rd>v ck tov jSaaiXiKov 
avveSpiov Kal tt)<s Xvpia<; diraat /? dir obeSe lypevos 
virapxo<s. o? KaraXvaa<! irapa tot lippa Kal 
deajpi)cra<! ttjv , Xepif apiv eBrjpevBtj t &> KaXXer 
Sio Kal tov * Hippo KaraSerjdeU avr5> Sovvai ttjv 
irapdevov et? ydpov evvopov, airrjyayev avrrjv ei<s 
Nivov, Kal yijpas eyevvrjae Svo iralSav, 'TanaTrjv 
2 Kai TSaoirrjv. tt)<; Se HepipdpiSot exovoTji; Kal 
TaXXa aKoXovda tt) irepl ttjv orfriv evirpeireia, avve- 
ftaive tov avSpa TeXetu? vir’ avTt)<; SeSovXoroBai, 

BOOK II. 4. 4-5. 2 

by drop between its lips. And when the child was a 
year old and in need of more solid nourishment, 
the doves, pecking off bits from the cheeses, supplied 
it with sufficient nourishment. Now when the keepers 
returned and saw that the cheeses had been nibbled 
about the edges, they were astonished at the strange 
happening; they accordingly kept a look-out, and 
on discovering the cause found the infant, which 
was of surpassing beauty. At once, then, bringing 
it to their steadings they turned it over to the keeper 
of the royal herds, whose name was Simmas; and 
Simmas, being childless, gave every care to the rear- 
ing of the girl, as his own daughter, and called her 
Semiramis, a name slightly altered from the word 
which, in the language of the Syrians, means 
“ doves,” birds which since that time all the 
inhabitants of Syria have continued to honour as 

5. Such, then, is in substance the story that is told 
about the birth of Semiramis. And when she had 
already come to the age of marriage and far surpassed 
all the other maidens in beauty, an officer was sent 
from the Jrings court to inspect the royal herds; 
his name was Onnes, and he stood first among the 
members of the kings council and had been appointed 
govemor over all Syria. He stopped with Simmas, 
and on'seeing Semiramis was captivated by her 
beauty; consequently he earnestly entreated Simmas 
to give him the maiden in lawful marriage and took 
her off to Ninus, where he married her and begat 
two sons, Hyapates and Hydaspes. And since the 
other qualities of Semiramis were in keeping with 
the beauty of her countenance, it turned out that 
her husband became complctely enslaved by her, 



ical prjSev ctvev t fj9 iKe'ivrj9 yv&pTj9 npaTTOvTa 
/carevo-Toxeiv iv iram. 

3 K aff ov Srj xpbvov 6 f3aai\ev9, ineiSrj ra 7repi 
ttjv ktlulv ttj9 opwvvpov 7roXem? nuveTeXeae, 
arpareveiv ini B a/CTpiavov9 inexeipv&ev. elSd>9 
Se t d T6 n\rj6rj /eat ttjv d\/crjv t&v dvSp&v, 
€Ti Se ttjv X“'P av eycovoav no\\ov9 Tonov9 
airpoaiTOVi Sia ttjv (>x vpoTrjTa, /eareXeifev ei; 
andvTcov t&v vit avrov iOv&v mpaTuoT&v 
irKrjOoi f inei ydp tt)9 npoTepov orpcneias dno- 
TeTevvo)? rjv, eanevSe noWanXaatovi napayeve- 

4 <7 dai ovvdpei npo9 ttjv Tiaicrpiav/jv. <rvva^eiarj<s 
Se ttj<i OTpaTia.9 navTayptiev rjpidprjOijoav, &9 
KTTjaia9 iv rat? IcrTopiais avayeypa(f>e, ne^&v 
pev eicaTOV efiSoprjicovTa pvpidSet, lirnewv Se 
pia irXeLow} t&v eiKoai pvpiaSwv, appaTa Se 
Spenavrj<f>6pa pucpov anoXelnovTa t&v pvpicov 

5 "EtrTt pev ovv amoTov T019 avTodev autovaaai 

t o 7r \tjQo 9 t fj9 (TTpaTidi, ov prjv aSvvaTov ye 
fyavrjcreTai t 019 dvaOeeopovai t b ttj9 ’A <na? 
peye0o9 /eai t d n\rjQrj t&v KaTOlKOvvTWV avTrjv 
eOv&v. el ydp Ti9 dcbei9 ttjv ini %Kv0a9 Aapeiov 
oTpaTeiav peTa oyoorjKovTa pvpiaSmv /eai ttjv 
'Sep^ov Siafiaaiv ini ttjv 'EXXdSa T019 dva- 
pi0prjToi9 nXrjdeai, t a? 1 /eat npurjv avv Te- 

\ecr0e'iaa9 npagei9 ini t ij9 Evp&nrj9 crKe\}raiTo, 

6 Taxiov av 7 ticttov rjyrjaano T b prjdev. /eaTa pev 
ovv ttjv %i/ce\iav 6 A 10VV0109 iic pia.9 t fj9 t&v 

1 fxfle» Yogel: Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK II. 5. 2-6 

and since he would do nothing without her advice 
he prospered in everything. 

It was at just this time that the king, now that he 
had completed the founding of the city which bore 
his name, undertook his campaign against the 
Bactrians. And since he was well aware of the 
great number and the valour of these men, and realized 
that the country had many places which because of 
their strength could not be approached by an enemy, 
he enrolled a great host of soldiers from ali the nations 
under his sway; for as he had come off badly in his 
earlier campaign, he was resolved on appearing 
before Bactriana with a force many times as large 
as theirs. Accordingly, after the army had been 
assembled from every source, it numbered, as 
Ctesias has stated in his history, one million seven 
hundred thousand foot-soldiers, two hundred and ten 
thousand cavalry, and slightly less than ten thousand 
six hundred scythe-bearing chariots. 

Now at first hearing the great size of the army is 
incredible, but it will not seem at all impossible to 
any who consider the great extent of Asia and 
the vast numbers of the peoples who inhabit it. 
For if a man, disregarding the campaign of Darius 
against the Scythians with eight hundred thousand 1 
men and the Crossing made by Xerxes against 
Greece with a host beyond number, 2 should consider 
the events which have taken place in Europe only 
yesterday or the day before, he would the more 
quickly come to regard the statement as credible. 
In Sicily, for instance, Dionysius led forth on his 

1 Herodotus (4. 87) makes the number 700,000, exolusivo of 
the fleet. 

a Cp. Book 11. 3. 



XvpaKoalmv noXems igrjyayev ini Tas arparelas 
neZ&v pev SmSeKa pvpidSas, In n eis Se pvpiovs 
kcu Sia^iXloos, i>avs Se paKpds r ef evbs Xipevos 
rerpaKoalas, mv fjaav h iat, Terprjpets xal nevTij- 
7 peis- 'Pmpaloi Se ju/cpov npo rmv 'AvvifiaiKmv 
Kcupmv, 7 rpoopmpevoi ro peyeOos rov noXepov, 
Kareypa^rav rovs /cara rfjv 'IraXiav emrrjSelovs 
et? 1 arparelav noXiras re /cal crv ppdxpvs, mv 
o avpnas apiOpos piKpbv dniXtne rmv eKarbv 
pvpidSmv kciItoi y eve/ca nXyOovs avOpmnmv 
l 7 l v u I raXlav oXtjv ovk av ris avy/cplveie npbs 
ev edvos rmv /cara rfjv 'Aalav. ravra pev ovv 
fip.iv elpiqoQm npos rovs e/c rrjs vvv 7 repi ras 
7 roXet? ovarjt; epijplas reK paipo pevovs rrjv naXaiav 
rmv idvmv noXvavO pmniav. 

6* O S ovv Ntvo? pera TOaavrrjs Svvapems 
arparevaas eis rrjv PaKrpiavrjv r’]vay/cd£eTo, 
SvcreiafioXmv rmv rbnmv kcu arevmv ovrmv, Kard 
2 pepos dyeiv rtjv Svvapiv. fj ydp BaKrpiavf) 
XfP a noXXais tcal peydXais oiKOvpevrj noXeai 
piav pev eiy^ev enupaveararr/v, ev y avvejBaivev 
elvai kcu Ta fiaalXeia- avrrj S’ i K aXelro pev 
BaKTpa, peyeOei Se kcu rfj KCtra ryv aKponoXiv 
oxvpoTpn 7 toXv naamv Siecpepe. fiaaiXevmv S ’ 
avrfjs O^vaprys Kariypayjrev dnavras rovs ev 

1 Diodorus assumes that his readers are familiar with the 
faot that the vessel constituting the body of this fleet was the 
trireme, the Standard warship of the period of Dionysius (fourth 
eentury B.o.); the quadriremes and quinqueremes were the 
next two laiger classes. The complement of the trireme was 

BOOK II. 5. 6-6. 2 

campaigns from the single city of the Syracusans 
one hundred and twenty thousand foot-soldiers and 
twelve thousand cavalry, and from a single harbour 
four hundred warships, some of which were quadri¬ 
remes and quinqueremes; 1 and the Romans, a 
little before the time of Hannibal, foreseeing the 
magnitude of the war, enrolled all the men in Italy 
who were fit for military Service, both citizens and 
allies, and the total sum of them feli only a little 
short of one million; and yet as regards the number 
of inhabitants a man would not compare all Italy 
with a single one of the nations of Asia. 2 Let these 
facts, then, be a sufficient reply on our part to those 
who try to estimate the populations of the nations of 
Asia in ancient times on the strength of inferences 
drawn from the desolation which at the present time 
prevails in its cities. 

6. Now Ninus in his campaign against Bactriana 
with so large a force was compelled, because access 
to the country was difficult and the passes were 
narrow, to advance his army in divisions. For the 
country of Bactriana, though there were many large 
cities for the people to dwell in, had one which was 
the most famous, this being the city containing the 
royal palace -, it was called Bactra, and in size and in 
the strength of its acropolis was by far the first of 
them all. The king of the country, Oxyartes, had 

at least 200 men, which makes a minimum for the fleet of 
80,000 rowers and marines. The larger vessels would, of 
course, carry larger crews. According to Polybius (1. 26) the 
quinqueremes of the Romana in the third eentury B.c. carried 
300 rowers and 120 marines. 

* Polybius (2. 24. 16) estimates the total number of Romans 
and allies capable of bearing arms at this time (c. 225 B.o.) as 
700,000 foot-soldiers and 70,000 cavalry. 



fjXtKta (TT/oareta? ovTas, ot t ov dptdpov pOpola- 

3 dpaav et? tct TapaKOvra pvptaSas- dvaXafi&v 
ovv Tpv Svvapiv /eat rot? TroXepiots awavT peras 
irepl ra? elafioXus, etaae / e /o? t?)? toO NtVou 
ar/oarta? elafiaXel »• eVet S’ eSoljtv [/cavov diro- 
fiefiptcevcu t&v iroXepiwv wXpffos et? to TreSiov, 
e’ferafe T77» t’£ta» Svvapiv. yevopevps Sb pa^ps 
ta^i/pa? ot Ba«Tpta»ot rot)? ' Acrcrvplovs Tpeifra- 
pevot /eat to» Stcoypov pe%pi t&v vnepKeipevcov 
op&v Toipadpevot Ste<j)deipav t&v iroXepimv et? 

4 Se/ea pvpiabas, pera Se ravra Tracrps Tps Svva- 
pecos et<r/3aXovaps, /cparovpevot t ot? TrXpdeat 
tcara irbXets aTrex&ppcrav, e/eaorot rat? tStat? 
irarpiat ftopOpaovTes. ra? /te» o 5 » a\\a? o 
Nt»o? e^et/owaaro paSLws, ra Se Baierpa Sta Te 
Tt]v oxvpoTr)Ta Kal t pv ev avTrj irapaaKevpv 
pSvvaTet «ara «paro? eXetv. 

6 IIoXvxpoviov Se Tps iroXiop/clas ytvopevps, 1 6 
Tps XeptpdptSos avpp, bpooTUC&s e^to» 7rpo? t^» 
7 vvatKa Kal avmpaTevopevos t& /3aatXet, /ter- 
eT repyJraTO Tpv avdpwirov. p Se avveaet Kal ToXpp 
Kal t ot? dXXots rot? 7rpo? eiri<j>dvetav avvTelvovai 
Ke^oppyppevp Katpov eXafiev emSei^atrOat Tpv 

6 tSta» apeTpv. irp&Tov pbv ovv iroXX&i/ ppep&v 
oSov peXXovaa StairopeveaOat aToXpv eirpay- 
paTevaaTO St ps ovk pv Stayv&vat tov irept- 
/3e/3Xppevov ir orepo» avpp bmiv ^ yvvp. avTp 
S’ pv ev^ppaTcs avTrj npos Te ra? e’» rot? 
Kavpaaiv oSonropias, et? to SiaTpppaat tov tov 
a&paros Xp&jTa, «at 7rpo? Ta? e’» tw irpaTreiv 
o /SovXoito %peta?, evKtvpTOs ovaa /eat veavtKp, 

1 ytroficyris Gemistus : yeyo/tenjs. 


BOOK II. 6. 2-6 

enrolled all the men of military age, and they had 
been gathered to the number of four hundred 
thousand. So taking this force with him and meeting 
the enemy at the passes, he allowed a division of the 
araiy of Ninus to enter the country; and when he 
thought that a sufficient number of the enemy had 
debouched into the plain he drew out his own forces 
in battle-order. A fierce struggle then ensued in 
which the Bactrians put the Assyrians to flight, and 
pursuing them as far as the mountains which over- 
looked the field, killed about one hundred thousand 
of the enemy. But later, when the whole Assyrian 
force entered their country, the Bactrians, over- 
powered by the multitude of them, withdrew city by 
city, each group intending to defend its o wn homeland. 
And so Ninus easily subdued all the other cities, but 
Bactra, because of its strength and the equipment for 
war which it contained, he was unable to take by 

But when the siege was proving a long affair the 
husband of Semiramis, who was enamoured of his 
wife and was making the campaign with the king, 
sent for the woman. And she, endowed as she was 
with understanding, daring, and all the other 
qualities which contribute to distinction, seized the 
opportunity to display her native ability. First of 
all, then, since she was about to set out upon a journey 
of many days, she devised a garb which made it im- 
possible to distinguish whether the wearer of it was a 
man or a woman. This dress was well adapted to her 
needs, as regards both her travelling in the heat, for 
protecting the colour of her skin,-and her convenience 
in doing whatever she might wish to do, since it 
was quite pliable and suitable to a young person, and, 


Kal t o avvoXov ToaavTt) rt? iirrjv avrfj ydpi<; 1 
<o<tQ' vo-t epov MrjSous pypaapevov^ tt}<: ’A<na? 
<popeiv rrjv XepLipdpuSos <ttoX rjv, Kal pera rav8' 

7 op.oLw<; Uepaa<;. rrapayevopevr) 8' et? ttjv BaKrpta- 
vr\y Kal KaTaaKeyjrapevt) t a rrepl tt)v TroXiopKiav, 
ed>pa Kara pev t a irehia Kal tov? eve(f>68ov<; tg>v 
T orreov irpoafioXas yivopeva^, irpo? 8e rrjv aKpo- 
rroXiv ov8eva rrpoaiovTa 8id tt)v oyypoTi)Ta, Kal 
tou? ev8ov diroXeXonrora*; t d? evravda <f>vXaKas 
kcu irapaffoi)0ovvTas Tot? eVt t&v Karm reix&v 

8 KivSvvevovai. 8ioirep irapaXaftovaa tcov ctt parior- 
t 5>v t ovi rrerpo/Sarelv elordorat;, Kal pera tovtgsv 
8ia rivo? xaXeTrrjs fyapayyos rrpoaavafSaaa, kot- 
eXdfiero pepo? tjJ? aKpoiroXewi tcal toi? rroXiop- 
Kovcri to Kara. to rreSlov Tet^o? earjprjvev. ol 
8’ ev8ov iirl tj) KaTaXijyfrei rrj<; axpa 9 KarairXa- 
yevret elfeXnrov t a reixv Kal ttjv aum)piav 

9 Tovtov 8 e tov rpoirov dXovarjs tt}s 7roXe<u? 6 
flao-cXei)? 8 avpdaa<i rrjv dpeTtjv t ?}? yvvaiKOs 
to pev rrpwTov peydXai<; Stupeat? ai/Tr/v eripit)ere, 
perii 8 e ravra 8 id to KaXXos t?J? dvdpdirov tritui/ 
e’p<uTt«tu? eVe%etp?/<76 tov av 8 pa treWeiv eKovaieo? 
avrip rrapaxfoprjaai, irrayyeiXdpLevo<; avTl TavTry; 
Tr)i xdpiTO<i avTw avvoiKieiv ttjv I 8 iav OvyaTepa 

10 %co(ravr)v. 8vax^pd><! 8’ avTOv <f>epovTO<;, rpirei- 
Xrjaev eKKo\jretv t a? opdtret? pr) rrpoxeipm virq- 
peTOvVTO<! TOts rrpoardypacriv. 6 8e “Ovvrji; apLa 
1 before ris D, Dindorf. 

1 The Median dress was distinguished from that of the 
Greeks by its oovering for the head, a long coat with sleeves 

BOOK II. 6. 6-10 

in a word, was so attractive that in later times the 
Medes, who were then dominant in Asia, always 
wore the garb of Semiramis, as did the Persians 
after them. 1 Now when Semiramis arrived in 
Bactriana and observed the progress of the siege, 
she noted that it was on the plains and at positions 
which were easily assailed that attacks were being 
made, but that no one ever assaulted the acropolis 
because of its strong position, and that its defenders 
had left their posts there and were coming to the aid 
of those who were hard pressed on the walls below. 
Consequently, taking with her such soldiers as were 
accustomed to clamberinguprocky heights, andmaking 
her way with them up through a certain difficult 
ravine, she seized a part of the acropolis and gave a 
signal to those who were besieging the wall down in 
the plain. Thereupon the defenders of the city, 
struck with terror at the seizure of the height, left 
the walls and abandoned all hope of saving themselvcs. 

When the city had been taken in this way, the king, 
marvelling at the ability of the woman, at first 
honoured her with great gifts, and later, becoming 
infatuated with her because of her beauty, tried to 
persuade her husl/and to yield her to him of his own 
accord, offering in retura for this favour to give him 
his own daughter Sosane to wife. But when the man 
took his offer with ill grace, Ninus threatened to 
put out his eyes unless he at once acceded to his 
commands. And Onnes, partly out of fear of the 

extending to the hands, trousers, and boots. Strabo (11.13. 9) 
expressed the contempt generally felt for it by the Greeks when, 
in observing that the Persians adopted this garb, he adds that 
“ they submitted to weanfeminine robes instead of going naked 
orlightly clad, and to oover their bodies all over with clothes.” 



pev ra? t ov ftaotXeio? a7ret\a? Se/tra?, dpa Se 
Sia tov epiDTa ireprrreaoiv Xvtttj tlvi Kal pavia , 
/S/30%01/ eavTU trepiOel ? dveKpepaae. lepipapis 
pev ovv Sia roiavra? airta? 64? ftaaiXiKov rfkde 

7. O Se Nti/o? tov? re ev Bd/crpoi? irapeXafte 
dt]aavpov<s, e^ovTa? ttoXvv apyvpov re Kal 
XPvaov, Kal rd «ard t^v HaKTpiavrjv tcara- 
aTijaas direXvae rd? Svvdpei?. pera Se ravra 
yevvrfaas e/e XepipdpiSo<s viov Nivvav ereXevrqcre, 
ttjv yvvabea diroXnrwv fiaalXiaaav. tov Se 
Nlvov rj Xepipapit eda^frev ev rot? fiaaiXetois, 
Kal KareaKevaaev etr' avT& x&pa irappeyede<s, 
ov to pev v^ro? rjv evvea araSLoiv, to 8 evpo<{, <u? 

2 (f>T)<n K TTjenai, Seica. Sib ical t t)? 7ro\e<»? irapa 
tov Kv(f>pdTTjv ev ireSLfp Keipevr]<s diro ttoXXotv 
<naSLa>v etpalveTO to x<bpa /cadarrepei ti ? atcpo- 
ttoXki' o Kal pexpi tov vvv cpacn Siapeveiv, 
Kalirep tt)? N Lvov KaTeaKappevrj<; viro Mt?8<»v, 
ore KaTeXvaav tt]V 'Aaavptcov fiaaiXeiav. 

'H Se "Zepipap t?, ova a <f>vaei peyaXeTrlftoXo? 
xal <f>iXoTipovpevT) tt) Sotjrj tov fiejUaaiXevKOTa 
7 Tpo avTrj ? virepO eaO ai, iroXiv pev eire^dXeTO 
KTi^eiv ev tt) B afivXavia, eiriXe^apevr] Se tov? 
TravTaxpdev dpxneKTOvas Kal Te%viTa<s, ert Se 
t^v aXKrjv X°P r >y lav tt apaaKevaaapevrj, avv- 
r/yayev e’f dirdarj<; t% /SacrtXeta? 77/309 tt/v t&v 
epymv avvTeXeiav dvSp&v pvpidSas SiaKooias. 

1 In 612 b.o. 

* The following piotuie of Bahylon serves to show the 
impression whioh this great city, whose “ Circuit was that more 


BOOK II. 6. 10-7. 2 

king’s threats and partly out of his passion for his 
wife, feli into a kind of frenzy and madness, put a 
rope about his neck, and hanged himself. Such, 
then, were the circumstances whereby Semiramis 
attained the position of queen. 

7. Ninus secured the treasures of Bactra, which 
contained a great amount of both gold and silver, 
and after settling the affairs of Bactriana disbanded his 
forces. After this he begat by Semiramis a son Ninyas, 
and then died, leaving his wife as queen. Semiramis 
buried Ninus in the precinct of the palace and erected 
over his tomb a very large mound, nine stades high 
and ten wide, as Ctesias says. Consequently, since 
the city lay on a plain along the Euphrates, the 
mound was visible for a distance of many stades, like 
an acropolis; and this mound stands, they say, even 
to this day, though Ninus was razed to the ground 
by the Medes when they destroyed the empire of 
the Assyrians. 1 

Semiramis, whose nature made her eager for great 
exploits and ambitious to surpass the fame of her 
predecessor on the throne, set her mind upon found- 
ing a city in Babylonia, and after securing the 
architects of all the World and skilled artisans and 
making all the other necessary preparations, she 
gathered together from her entire kingdom two 
million men to complete the work. 2 Taking the 

of a nation than of a city ” (Aristotle, Politica, 3. 3. 5), made 
upon the Greeks. The older city was hadly damaged hy the 
sack of Sennacherih (c. 689 B.o.). The same ruler, however, 
commenced the work of rehuilding it, a task which was 
continued hy successive kings of Assyria. The Chaldaean 
Nehuchadrezzar (605-662 B.o.) further embellished it, making 
it the most magnificent city of Asia, and it is his city which 
was known to the elassical writers. 



3 arroXafiovaa Se rov HvcjipdrTjv rroraptov eis 
fieaov 7 repieffdXero ret^o? rfj 7 roXei araStcov 
ei-r)Kovra /cai rpia/coalcov, SieiXrjppevov 7 rvpyois 
itvkvois /cal peyaXois, 1 <5? <f>r/ai Ktj ferias o 
KwSto?, dis Se K Xelrapxos /cal rcbv varepov 
ff e r AXefjavSpov Siafiavrcov eis rrjv 'Aalav rives 
aveypayjrav, rpia/cotrlcav egq/covra rrevre araSlcov 
/cai rrpoanQeacnv ori rcbv iacov r/pepdbv eis rov 
eviavrov ova&v ecfuXoriprjdrj rov laov dpiOpov 

4 r&v araSlcov vrroarrfaaadai. orrras Se rrXlv- 
9ovS' eis aacfiaXrov evSr/aapevrj retyos /care- 
a/cevaae ro pev vyjros, dis pev Ktj falas cfirjal, 
irevrrjKovra opyyidiv, dis S' evioi rcbv veoirepcov 
eypayjrav, rrrjx&v rrevrrj/covra, ro Se rrXdros 
irXeov^ r] Svalv^ dppaaiv Irrnrdaipov 7 rvpyovs Se 
roV" pev dpiOpbv Sia/coatovs /cal rrevnj/covra, ro 
S' vi/ros* /cal rrXdros i(- dvaXoyov rcb ftdpei rcbv 

5 /cara ro ret^o? epyoiv. ov XPV bb davpd^eiv 
ei rrfXiKovroy ro peye8os rov rrepi/SoXov /cad- 
eardiros oXlyovs rrvpyovs /carea/cevaaev' irrl 
rroXvv ydp^ rorcov rZjs rroXeois eXecn rrepiexo- 
peyrjs, /cara rovrov rov rorrov ov/c eSotjev ai/rfj 
rrvpyovs oacoSopeiv, rrjs cfivaecos rdiv eXcbv l/cavrjv 
rrapexppevqs bxvporrjra. dvd p.eaov Se rcbv 
ol/udiv /cal rcbv rei X div oSos rrdvry /careXeXeirrro 

1 So Eichstaiit, who deletes after v*yi\ 0 tss “And suoh 
was the massiveness of tho works that the width of the 
walls was sufficient to allow six chariots to drive abreast 
upon it, and their height was unbelievable to those who 
only hear of it.” 

, ' J . acob 7> *'■ Gr - Bist., s.v. Klciiarehos, frg. 10, adds 
opyvtuv atter Sfot and adopts the reading of A B D and 

BOOK II. 7. 3-5 

Euphrates river into the centre she threw about the 
city a wall with great towers set at frequent intervals, 
the wall being three hundred and sixty stades 1 
in circumference, as Ctesias of Cnidus says, but accord- 
ing to the account of Cleitarchus and certain of those 
who at a later time crossed into Asia with Alexander, 
three hundred and sixty-five stades; 2 and these 
latter add that it was her desire to make the number 
of stades the same as the days in the year. Making 
baked bricks fast in bitumen she built a wall with a 
height, as Ctesias says, of fifty fathoms, but, as some 
later writers have recorded, of fifty cubits, 3 and 
wide enough for more than two chariots abreast to 
drive upon; and the towers numbered two hundred 
and fifty, their height and width corresponding to 
the massive scale of the wall. Now it need occasion 
no wonder that, considering the great length of the 
Circuit wall, Semiramis constructed a small number of 
towers; for since over a long distance the city was 
surrounded by swamps, she decided not to build 
towers along that space,the swamps offering asufficient 
natural defence. And all along between the dwell- 
ings and the walls a road was left two plethra wide. 

1 About forty miles. 

2 Herodotus (1. 178) makes the oirouit of the walls 480 
stades, Strabo (16. 1. 6) 385, although this number has been 
generally taken by editors to be an error of the MSS. for 365, 
thus bringing him into agreement with Cleitarchus and 
Quintus Curtius 5. 4. 

* i.e. either 300 feet high or 75 feet high. Herodotus, l.c., 
gives the height as 200 “ royal cubits ” (e. 335 feet). 

Tzetzes, Chii. 9. 569 : rb 5’ i itpos ipyviiv itfxovra, is S‘ tvioi 
riv VfurtpiM (patri, nrixiv Itfxoxra (“ their height being sixty 
fathoms, but, as some later writers say, sixty cubits”). 



8. Upbi Se ttjv o^vrijTa Trj ? tovtcov oiko- 
Sopiai eicdo-Tip tcov tpiXcov araSiov StepeTprjcre, 
Sovaa ttjv Itcavrjv et? tovto yoprjyiav Kal Sia- 
KeXevaapevrj reXoi emdelva i Tot? epyoii ev 

2 eviavTco. <bv TroirjadvTcov to irpoara^Olv pera 
iroXXrji a-rrovSrj ?, tovtcov pev direSe^aro ttjv 
<f>iXoTip,Lav, avTT} Se kcltcl to crrevcoTaTov pepo ? 
tov iroTapov yecpvpav VTaSlcov irevTe to pfjKoi 
KCLTecncevacrev, et? j3v0ov cf>iXoTe'xvcoi tcaOeica 
toi)? Ktovai, ot SteaT-q/cecrav air aXXrjXcov iroSai 
ScbSeiea. tov ? Se crvvepeiSopevovi XlOovi Toppoii 
at.Srjpoii SieXapfiave, /cal Tai tovtcov appoviat 
eirXrjpov poXiffSov evTrjKovaa. to?? Se /etocri 
irpo tcov to pevpa Se^opevcov irXevp&v ycoviai 
irpoKaTeaKevaaev eyoveras ttjv drropporjv irepi- 
•peprj Kal avvSeSepevrjv kclt oXlyov ecoi tov 
KaTcl tov Kiova irXaTovi, orrcoi ai pev irepl t<z? 
ycovlai ofunjTe? Tepvcocn ttjv KaTaipopav tov 
pevpaTOi, ai Se rrepicfiepetai Trj tovtov /3ia 
crvveLKovcrai rrpavvcocri ttjv crcfioSpoTijTa tov 

3 iroTapov. t) pev ovv ye<f>vpa, xeSpivan Kal 
KV-jrapiTTLvaa Sokoli, eri Se ipoivLKcov aTeXe\eaiv 
vneppeyedeai KaT eaTeyaa pevrj Kal TptaKovTa 
ttoScov oiiaa to n r\aTO?, ovSevo ? eSo/ce t tui/ 
'S.epupapiSoi epycov Trj cjuXoTe^via Xelireadai. 
eg eKaTepov Se pepo vi tov iroTapov KprjiriSa 

1 Some of the piers of this “ most aneient stone bridge of 
which we have any record ” have been discovered. They are 
twenty-one metrea long, nine wide, and are placed nine znetres 

BOOK II. 8. i-3 

8. In order to expedite the building of these 
constructions she apportioned a stade to each of her 
friends, furnishing sufficient material for their task 
and directing them to complete their work within a 
year. And when they had finished these assign- 
ments with great speed she gratefully accepted 
their zeal, but she took for herself the construction 
of a bridge 1 five stades long at the narrowest point 
of the river, skilfully sinking the piers, which stood 
twelve feet apart, into its bed. And the stones, 
which were set firmly together, she bonded with iron 
cramps, and the joints of the cramps 2 she filled by 
pouring in lead. Again, before the piers on the 
side which would receive the current she constructed 
cutwaters whose sides were rounded to tum off the 
water and which gradually diminished to the width 
of the pier, in order that the sharp points of the 
cutwaters might divide the impetus of the stream, 
while the rounded sides, yielding to its force, might 
soften the violence of the river. 3 This bridge, then, 
floored as it was with beams of cedar and cypress 
and with palm logs of exceptional size and having a 
width of thirty feet, is considered to have been inferior 
in technical sicili to none of the works of Semiramis. 
And on each side of the river she built an expensive 
apart. An inscription of Nebuchadrezzar ascribes this bridge 
to his father Nabopolassar (R. Koldewey, The Excavalions at 
Babylon (Eng. transi.), pp. 197-99). 

2 Or “ of the stones” (so Liddell-Scott-Jones). But the 
use of cramps and dowels, sunk into the stones and made 
fast by pouring in molten lead, was the accepted bonding 
method in the classic period of Greek architecture, and 
dove-tailed wooden cramps laid in bitumen have been found 
in Babylon (Koldewey, l.c., p. 177). 

* The sides of the piers, as remains show, were convex at 
the north ends and then sharply receded to a point. 



TroXvTeXfj KaTeuKevaae irapa-n'hrcr[av Kara ro 
•n-A-dro? toZ? Teiyeaiv eirl <naSiov<; e/carov 

'Thcoboprjtje Se Kal fiacrtXeia SnrXa trap avTov 
T ov •jrorap.ov et; e/carepov pepovs; Tr}<; yetf>vpa<;, 
eg a>v ap 1 epeXXe tttjv re iroXiv anaaav /caro- 
Trrevaeiv 2 tcai /caSanepei to? /t\eZ? egeiv t&v 

4 eTTucatpoTaTtov tjj? 7ro\et»? tottcov. tov S’ 
E vtppaTOV Sia pecrrjt; tt}<; Ba/3vXwvo<; peovTos 
Kal 7r/3o? pecrr)pj3ptav Karacfrepopivov, twv 
fiacnXeiwv t a pev ir po? avaToXrjv eveve, t a Se 
7T/30? Svaiv, ap<f>OTepa Se 7roA.i/Te\<u? /car- 
eaKevaaTO. tov pev yap 3 7rpo? enrepav /cet- 
pevov pepovs inolrjae tov irpwTov ireplfioXov 
e^Kovra aTaSlwv, v^rrfXoi*; Kal iroXvTeXecn 
Tel)(eaiv wxvpwpevov, eg btrTrpi wXivBov. ere- 
pov S ’ evrbi tovtov KVKXoTeprj KaTetjKevacre, KaO’ 
ov ev w putis Uti Tat? irXivBoLS SieTeTvnwTo Brjpta 
TravroSaTra t fj twv xpoipartov AiXorej^vla ttjv 

5 aXr)6eiav anopipovpeva‘ ovtos S’ 6 wepiftoXos 
fjv to pev pt/Kos GTaStaiv TeTTapaKovTa, to Se 
ttX&tos eVt TpiaKoaias 4 irXivBo vs, to S’ v\[ros, 
<u? Kr^crta? <f>rj<rtv , opyviwv TvevTr\KovTa- twv S£ 
irvpywv ynijpxe to vifro ? opyviwv ePSoprjKoma. 

6 KaTecrKevaae Se Kal TpiTov evSoTepw irepifioXov, 
o? nepielxev aKpbiroXiv, ps f) pev -rreplpeTpos r/v 
<TTaSla>v eiKoai, to Se vifros 5 Kal ttX(Itos Trjs 
ol/coSopla ? virepaipov tov petrov Tet^ov? t rjv 

1 fiiv after £/ia deleted by Dindorf. 

2 KOTQTtTfufffiV Dindorf: Karoureieiy. 

2 fis rb after yap deleted by Dindorf. 

1 rpiaKotrlas Dindorf: rpiaxotrlous. 6 Stfios Wurm : pi~iKOS. 


BOOK II. 8. 3-6 

quay 1 of about the same width as the walls and 
one hundred and sixtv stades long. 

Semiramis also built two palaces on the very banks 
of the river, one at each end of the bridge, her inten- 
tion being that from them she might be able both to 
look down over the entire city and to hold the keys, 
as it were, to its most important sections. And 
since the Euphrates river passed through the centre 
of Babylon and flowed in a southerly direction, one 
palace faced the rising and the other the setting sun, 
and both had been constructed on a lavish scale. 
For in the case of the one which faced west she made 
the length of its first or outer circuit wall sixty stades, 
fortifying it with lofty walls, which had been built 
at great cost and were of burned brick. And within 
this she built a second, circular in form, 2 in the bricks 
of which, before they were baked, wild animals of 
every kind had been engraved, and by the ingenious 
use of colours these figures reproduced the actual 
appearance of the animals themselves; this circuit 
wall had a length of forty stades, a width of three 
hundred bricks, and a height, as Ctesias says, of fifty 
fathoms; the height of the towers, however, was 
seventy fathoms. And she built within these two 
yet a third circuit wall, which enclosed an acropolis 
whose circumference was twenty stades in length, 
but the height and width of the structure sur- 
passed the dimensions of the middle circuit wall. 

1 Cp. Herodotus 1. 180. 

* Koldewey (l.c., p. 130) holds that the Greek word may not 
be translated “circular,” preferring “ annular, enclosed in 
itself, not open on one side, like the outer peribolos,” his 
reason being that a “ circular peribolos is found nowhere in 
Babylon.’ ’ 



Karaotcevijv. evfjaav 8’ ev re tois nvpyois ical 
Tet^eo-t £<pa iravToSaira tfnXoTexveos tois re 
Xpdypaai Kal toU tgiv tvttwv diropip^paai 
tcareaicevcurfieva’ to 8’ o\ov iireTroiijTO Kvvrjyiov 
7r avroimv drjptmv virapxpv ir\fjpe<;, d>v rjaav ra 
peyeOr) irKeov ij tttjx^v Terrapcov. /carea/ceua- 
<jTO 8' ev avTols Kal 17 %epipapis a<p' i-rnrov 
irdp8a\iv aKoVTi^ovaa, Kal irXtjaiov avTtjs 6 
avrjp N ivos iraimv eK %etpo? ^ 0VTa ^ 0 7XJ7- 
7 eireaTijae 8e Kal irv\as rpirras, 1 3>v virrjpxov 
Sirrai 2 ^aX/wu 8ia prjxavijs avotyopevai. 

TaOra pev ovv ra /3aai\eia Kal t& peyeOet 
Kal Tals KaraiTKevais iro\v irpoeix* twv ovtcov 
€ 7rl Oarepa peprj tov trorapov. iKeiva yap et%6 
tov pev irepifioXov tov t et%ou? TpiaKOVTa ara- 
8’uov eg oTTTtjs ifKivOov, avrl 8e tt)s irepl ra £Sa 
fyiKoTexvias %a\/ca? eUovas N Lvov Kal "Zepi- 
papA.8os Kal t 5>v virdpx<vv, en 8e Aios, ov kcCKov- 
aiv oi Ha/3v\d>vioi BtJXov’ evrjaav 8e Kai irapa- 
rageis Kal Kvvrjyia iravToSaird, ttoiki\t)v 
ycoyiav napexopeva tois dewpevois. 

9. Mera 8e ravra Tr)s B afivKcovias €K\e^a- 
pevrj tov TaTretvoTaTov tottov eiroirjoe 8e%apevt)v 
T6T pdyeovov, 77? rjv eKaaTtj irXevpd araSieov 
TpiaKoaiwv, eg oinfjs ir\Lv6ov Kal aatpaXTov 
KaTecrKevaopevrjv Kal to (iddos exovaav iro85>v 

1 i<p' after rpirrlis deleted by Dindorf. 

* Jirrol Wurm : Slairat. 

1 Koldewey (l.c., pp. 129-31) identifies thia palace witb what 
he calls the Persian Building, and finds traces of the three 

cirouit walls (peribdoi). It is a st riking coinoidence that 
among the fragmenta of glazed bricks depioting a Chase of 

BOOK II. 8. 6-9. 

On both the towers and the walls there were again 
animals of every kind, ingeniously executed by the 
use of colours as well as by the realistic imitation of 
the several types; and the whole had been made to 
represent a hunt, complete in every detail, of all 
sorts of wild animals, and their size was more than 
four cubits. Among the animals, moreover, Semi¬ 
ramis had also been portrayed, on horseback and in 
the act of hurling a javelin at a leopard, and nearby 
was her husband Ninus, in the act of thrusting his 
spear into a lion at close quarters. 1 In this wall she 
also set triple gates, two of which were of bronze and 
were opened by a mechanical device. 

Now this palace far surpassed in both size and 
details of execution the one on the other bank of 
the river. For the Circuit wall of the latter, made 
of bumcd brick, was only thirty stades long, and 
instead of the ingenious portrayal of animals it 
had bronze statues of Ninus and Semiramis and their 
officers, and one also of Zeus, whom the Babylonians 
call Belus; 2 and on it were also portrayed both 
battle-scenes and hunts of every kind, which filled 
those who gazed thereon with varied emotions of 

9. After this Semiramis picked out the lowest spot 
in Babylonia and built a square reservoir, which was 
three hundred stades long on each side; it was con- 
structed of baked brick and bitumen, and had a 

wild animals there was found only one human face, that of 
a woman in white enamel. “ We can scarcely doubt, there- 
fore,” he says, “ that Diodorus was describing the enamels of 
the Persian building, and that the white face of a woman is the 
same that Ctesias recognized as a portrait of Semiramis.’ ’ 

2 “ Zeus Belus ’ ’ was the name by which the Babylonian 
Bel-Marduk was known among the Greeks. 



2 Tpia/covTa tcai rrevre. eis tovttjv 8’ anoarpe- 
ijraaa rov rrorapov Karecncevaaev e/e rotv enl 
raSe fiaaiXeitov et? ffdrepa 8td)pv%a- ei; birrrjs 
Se 7 tXivOov avvouco8opr)aaaa ras k a papas ei; 
etcarepav pepovs dff^dXru /carexpiffev rj\jrr)pevr], 
pe%pi ov 1 rb ird)(ps Tov ^piapaTos enotr/ae rrpyStv 
rerrapaiv, tt) ? Se Sidipv^os VTrrjpxpv ol pe v rot^ot 
to 7 rXaro? eVt ■nXlv0ovs ei/coai, to S’ vtyos xtopls 
rrjs Kapcj}0eiat]s yfraXtSos rro8S>v Sa/Se/ea, to Se 

3 rrXdros iroS&v rrevreKalSeKa, iv rjpepais 8’ eirra 
KaraaKevaa0elar\s avrrjs arroKareartjae rov rro- 
rapov iirl rrjv rrpovrrdpxovaav pvaiv, Stare rov 
pevparos irrdvm rrjs Siebpv^os iftepopevov 8vva- 
aOai rtjv teplpapiv e/c t&v rrepav /3aai\euov iirl 
0arepa 8tanopevea0ai ptj Siafialvovaav rov 
rrorapov, irrearrjae Se /eat irvXas rrj Sidpvxi 
XaX/cas i<f>’ etcarepov pepos, at Siepeivav pexpi 
rrjs 2 TLepa&v BaaiXeias. 

4 Mera Se ravra iv pearj rfj rr oXet /car- 
eatcevaaev iepov Aios, ov /caXovaiv ol Ba/3vXa>- 
vioi, ica&direp elppKapev, BrjXov. rrepl rovrov 
Se tS)v avyypa^teoiv Siatftotvovvrcov, /eat rov tcara- 
aKevaaparos 8id rov xpovov icar arrerrr oncor os, 
ovk eanv drro<f>tjvaa0ai rcucpifies- opoXoyeirai 
8’ {AjrrjXbv yeyevrja0ai ica0' vrrepBoXrjv, /eat tovs 
XaXSatoi/? iv avra> ras tu>v aarpcov rrerroifja0ai 
rrapari) ptfaeis, dicpi/3S>s 0ecopovpe vcov ra v t’ 
avaroX&v /eat Svaecov Sta to rov icaraa/ceva- 

6 aparos ityos. rfjs S’ oXrjs olicoSoplas ii; aacftdX- 

1 ol D, Vogel : Srou C, Bekker, Dindorf. 

2 ruv after t?» omitted by C D, Vogel. 


BOOK II. 9. r-5 

depth of thirty-five feet. Then, diverting the river 
into it, she built an underground passage-way from 
one palace to the other; and making it of burned 
brick, she coated the vaulted chambers on both 
sides with hot bitumen until she had made the 
thickness of this coating four cubits. The side walls 
of the passage-way were twenty bricks thick and 
twelve feet high, exclusive of the barrel-vault, and 
the width of the passage-way was fifteen feet. And 
after this construction had been finished in only seven 
days she let the river back again into its old cliannel, 
and so, since the stream flowed above the passage- 
way, Semiramis was able to go across from one palace 
to the other without passing over the river. At each 
end of the passage-way she also set bronze gates 
which stood until the time of the Persian rule. 

After this she built in the centre of the city a 
temple 1 of Zeus whom, as we have said, the Baby- 
lonians call Belus. Now since with regard to this 
temple the historians are at variance, and since time 
has caused the structure to fall in ruins, it is impossible 
to give the exact facts concerning it. But all agree 
that it was exceedingly high, and that in it the Chal- 
daeans made their observations of the stars, whose 
risings and settings could be accurately observed by 
reason of the height of the structure. Now the entire 
building was ingeniously constructed at great expense 

1 What follows is a description of the great ziggurat, or stage- 
tower, of E-temen-ana-ki, the “ foundation stone of heaven and 
earth.” According to Herodotus (1. 181) it had eight stories, 
but E. Unger (Babylon (1931), pp. 191 ff.) finds evidence for 
only seven (ep. the Reconstruction, p. 383). The height of 
this great structure was nearly 300 feet, and in the course of 
time thcre gathered about it the Hebrew myth of the Tower 
of Babel (ep. The Cambridge Ancient History, I, pp. 503 ff.). 



tov Kal 7 rXivdov ire^nXoTexvrfpevrjs 7 toXvtcX&s, 
eV axpai; Ttjs ava0daea>s rpla /carea/cevcMrev 
ayaXpaTa xpvaa cnpvpqXaTa, Aios, 'H pas, 
'P eas. tovtojv Se to pev tov Aios eaTrjKos t\v 
K al Sia0e0rjKos, xmapy^ov fie 1 iroS&v Terrapa- 
Kovra to ptjKos aradpov et%e xiXiwv TaXavTiov 
Ba0vXcovia>v to Se Trjs 'Pea? eVt Si<f>pov Kadtf- 
pevov xpvcrov tov taov aTadpov el%e t& irpoei- 
prjpevip' enl Se t&v yovaTatv avTrjs eiaTrjKeaav 
XeovTes Svo, Kal TrXr/alov otpeis vireppeyedeis 
apyvpoi, TptaKovTa TaXdvrcov eKaaTos e%<uv ro 

6 0dpos. to Se Tjjs "Hpas eaTrjKOs r\v ayaXpa, 
aTadpov e%ov TaXavTcov OKTaKoalav, Kal tt} 
pev Segia x ei P' 1 KaT ^X € T V < ' Ke<j>aXfjs o<j>iv, tt) 

7 fi’ dpiaTepa aKrjinpov XidoKoXXrjTOV. tovtois 
Se iraat Koivrj irapeKeiTO Tpdire^a XP V(T V <r<fcvptf- 
Xaros, to p.ev pr/xos noS&v TeTTapaKovTa, to 
fi’ evpos TtevTeKalSeKa, aTaOpov ex°vaa TaXavTasv 
TrevraKoaicov. eirl Se TavTrjs eireKeivTO Svo 
Kapxr)aia, aTadpbv exovra TpiaKOVTa TaXavTwv. 

8 rjaav fie Kal dvpiaTrjpia tov pev apiOpov laa, 
tov fie aTadpov eKaTepov TaXdvTwv TpiaKoaimv• 
vnfjpx°v Se Kal KpaTrjpes XP vao ^ Tpels, &v 6 
pev tov Aios elXKe TaXavTa B afivXcovta xiXia 
Kal SiaKoaia, to>v fi’ aXXcov eKaTepos e^aKoaia. 

9 aXXa raura pev ol t&v Uepa&v 0aaiXeis vaTepov 
iavXrjaav t&v Se 0aaiXei<ov Kal t&v aXXtov 
KaTaaKevaapaTeov 6 XP° V0< > T ® P* v oXoaxep&s 
r/<fiaviae, tci fi’ eXvprjvaTO' Kal yap aiiTrjs Trjs 
B a0vX&vos vvv 0paxv ti pepos o'iKeiTai, to Se 
irXeiaTov evTOS Teixovs yecopyeiTai. 

10 . 'T7 rrjpxe Se Kal 6 KpepaaTos KaXovpevos 

BOOK II. 9. 5-10. 1 

of bitumen and brick, and at the top of the ascent 
Semiramis set up three statues of hammered gold, of 
Zeus, Hera, and Rhea. Of these statues that of Zeus 
represented him erect and striding forward, and, 
being forty feet high, weighed a thousand Babylonian 
talents; that of Rhea showed her seated on a golden 
throne and was of the same weight as that of Zeus; 
and at her knees stood two lions, while near by were 
huge serpents of silver, each one weighing thirty 
talents. The statue of Hera was also standing, 
weighing eight hundred talents, and in her right hand 
she held a snake by the head and in her left a sceptre 
studded with precious stones. A table for all three 
statues, made of hammered gold, stood before them, 
forty feet long, fifteen wide, and weighing five 
hundred talents. Upon it rested two drinking-cups, 
weighing thirty talents. And there were censers as 
well, also two in number but weighing each three 
hundred talents, and also three gold mixing bowls, 
of which the one belonging to Zeus weighed twelve 
hundred Babylonian talents and the other two six 
hundred each. But all these were later carried ofF as 
spoil by the kings of the Persians, 1 while as for the 
palaces and the other buildings, time has either 
entirely effaced them or left them in ruins; and in 
fact of Babylon itself but a small part is inhabited at 
this time, and most of the area within its walls is 
given over to agriculture. 

10 . There was also, beside the acropolis, the Hang- 

1 Babylon was taken by the Persians in 539 b.o. 

1 Vogel follows D in reading 5e here and deletes it after 



xrjnos napa Trjv dxponoXiv, ov XepipdpiSos, 
aWa rivos vorepov 'Evpov jSaaiXeoos xmatrxeva- 
cravros xdpiv yvvaixos naXXaxrjs' Tavrrjv yap 
4>aaiv ovcrav to yevos UepaiSa xai tovs ev tois 
opeai Xeipuivas em^rjTovaav dgi&aai t ov /3aaiXea 
piprjtraadai Sia Trjs t ov (jrvrovpyelov (jnXoTexvlas 

2 Trjv t rjs TlepalSos ISiottjt a, ean 8' 6 

napaSeiaos tt;v pev nXevpav exaaTrjv napex- 
relvwv eis rerrapa nXedpa, ttjv Se npoa^aaiv 
opeivrjv Kal ras oixoSoplas aXXas ei; aXXorv 

3 WO-T6 rrjv npoaorjriv elvai dearpoeiSfj. vno Se 
rais xaTecrxevaa pevais dvajSdoeoiv (pKoSbprjvTO 
avpiyyes, anav pev vnoSexopevai to t ov <jr vrovp- 
yeiov /3apos, aXXrjXarv S’ ex t ov xar oXiyov dei 
pixpov virepexpvaai /cara ttjv npoaftaoiv rj S' 
avioTarco trvpiyi; ova a nevTtjxovra 7 ttjx&v to 
vrjros ei^ev en avTtj 1 t ov napaSelaov rrjv avi o- 
totjjv eni(f>dveiav avvegiiTovpevrjv rar nepi/3oX<p 

4 t&v enaXgeiov. eneiO' ol pev t oT%oi noXvreXdrs 
xaTeaxevaapevoi to na^os el^ov noSdiv eixoai 
Svo, t<ov Se SiegoSiov exdarr] to nXaros Sexa. 
t as S' opo<fias xarearcya^ov Xidivai Soxol, to pev 
prjxos (tvv t ais emftoXals exovtrai noSdrv exxal- 

6 Sexa, to Se nXdros TeTrdparv. to S’ ini t ats 
Soxois opocfxopa npaiTov pev el^ev vneaT parpevov 
xd.Xap.ov pera noXXrjs aa<f>dXTOv, pera Se Tavra 
nXivdov onrrjv SmXfjv ev yvrjrip SeSepevrjv, Tplrrjv 
S emfioXpv eSexero 2 poXtffds areyas npos to 
pr/ Suxveierdai xara fidOos tt/v ex t ov x&pm os 
voTiSa. enl Se tovtois eaeadrpevTO yrjs Ixavov 
1 4<p' a&rf} Bekker, Dindorf. 

* t$ix (T ° Vogel: 4it(S(x*to C, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK II. 10. 1-5 

ing Garden, as it is called, which was built, not by 
Semiramis, but by a later Syrian king to please one of 
his concubines; for she, they say, being a Persian by 
race and longing for the meadows of her mountains, 
asked the king to imitate, through the artifice of a 
planted garden, the distinctive landscape of Persia. 1 
The park 2 extended four plethra on each side, and 
since the approach to the garden sloped like a hillside 
and the several parts of the structure rose from one 
another tier on tier, the appearance of the whole 
resembled that of a theatre. When the ascending 
terraces had been built, there had been constructed 
beneath them galleries which carried the entire 
weight of the planted garden and rose little by little 
one above the other along the approach; and the 
uppermost gallery, which was fifty cubits liigh, 
bore the highest surface of the park, which 
was made level with the circuit wall of the 
battlements of the city. Furthermore, the walls, 
which had been constructed at great expense, were 
twenty-two feet thick, while the passage-way be- 
tween each two walls was ten feet wide. The roofs 
of the galleries were covered over with beams of 
stone sixteen feet long, inclusive of the overlap, and 
four feet wide. The roof above these bearns had 
first a layer of reeds laid in great quanti ties of 
bitumen, over this two courses of baked brick bonded 
by cernent, and as a third layer a covering of lead, to 
the end that the moisture from the soil miglit not 
penetrate beneath. On ali this again earth had been 

1 The “ Hanging Gardens ” were built by the Chaldaean 
Nebuchadrezzar (605-562 b.c.) for his wife Amyhia, a Median 

* Paradeisos, “ park,” a word borrowed from the Persian, 
meant no more than a wooded enclosure. 



0a0o<;, apxovv 1 Tat? t&v peyitTTtov SevSpcov 
pt&K' to S’ eSaipos egcop.aXnTp.evov rrXfjpes fjv 
iravTobairoiv SevSpcov t cov Svvapevcov /cara re to 
peyeOos xal tt/v aXXrjv %dpiv tov? decopevovs 
6 cv^aycoyfjcrai. ai Se crvptyye ? tA cp&Ta Se^o- 
pevai Tat? St’ dXXrjXcov vnepo^ais tt oXXas /eat 
iravToSaTTas etyov Staira? ySaaiXt/ea?- ^ta S’ ^t/ 
e/e tj)? dvwTaTTjs eiri^aveias SiaTopds e^ot/aa 
/eal 7T/)o? Ta? eiravTX^creis t<5j/ uSutcov opyava. 
Si 8>v avecr-iraro irXfjdos uSaTos ex tov iroTapov, 
prjSevos t&v egcodev to yivopevov avviSelv Svva- 
p.evov. ovrof pev ovv 6 irapaSeiao ?, o>? irpoeiTrov, 
varepov xaTeaxevdaOt]. 

11. 'H Se Xepipapis exTicre /eat a\\a? iroXeis 
Trapd tov iroTapov tov Te ISv^paTTjv /eat toj/ 
Tiypiv, iv aZ? epiropia xaTeaxevaae Tot? <j>opTia 
Siaxopigovcriv ex t% M^Sta? /eaZ IlapatTa- 
xr)vfj<i xai Ttda-r)<i tj)? avveyyvs 'x&pas. peTa 
ydp tov NeTXov /eat Tayyrjv ov Te? iTricrrjpoTaToi 
(T-^eSov t 5>v xaTa ttjv 'Acriav iroTap&v JLixppaTTjs 
xal T typis t a? /tei/ irqyds e^ovoiv ex t&v 
'Appevicov op&v, Siecnrjxacri S’ dir dXXrjXcov 
2 cnaSiovs Sicr^iXiovs xal TrevTaxoaiovs’ eve^ddvTes 
Se Sid MrjSias xal Hapanax^vfis ipBdXXovcnv 
et? T»yi/ Me<ro7roTa/ttai/, airoXapj3dvovTes et? 

1 apicoiv Gemistus: tptovp.evoi’. 

] Koldewey (l.e., pp. 91-100) would identify a vaulted 
building in a comer of Nebuchadrezzar’s palace with this 
“hanging garden.” Certa in considerations speak strongly 

BOOK II. io. 5-11. 2 

piled to a depth sufficient for the roots of the largest 
trees; and the ground, when levelled off, was thickly 
planted with trees of every kind that, by their great 
size or any other charm, could give pleasure to the 
beholder. And since the galleries, each projecting 
beyond another, all received the light, they con- 
tained many royal lodgings of every description; 
and there was one gallery whicli contained openings 
leading from the topmost surface and machines for 
supplying the garden with water, the machines raising 
the water in great abundance from the river, although 
no one outside could see it being done. Now this 
park, as I have said, was a later construction. 1 

11 . Semiramis founded other cities also along the 
Euphrates and Tigris rivers, in which she estab- 
lished trading-places for the merchants who brought 
goods from Media, Paraetacene, and all the neigh- 
bouring region. For the Euphrates and Tigris, the 
most notable, one may say, of all the rivers of Asia 
after the Nile and Ganges, have their sources in the 
mountains of Armenia and are two thousand five 
hundred stades apart at their origin, and after flowing 
through Media and Paraetacene they enter Meso¬ 
potamia, which they enclose between them, thus 

for this : (1) hewn stone, rarely found elscwhere in Babylon, 
was used in its construction i (2) the walls, especially the Central 
ones, are nnusually thick, as if to bear some heavy burden; 
(3) the presence of a well, unique among the many found in the 
ruins of the city, which consists of three adjoining shafts, the 
two outer and oblong ones presumably being used for an end- 
less chain of buckets, and the Central and square shaft serving 
as an inspection-chamber. L. W. King (A Bistory of Babylon, 
pp. 46-50) recognizes the force of these arguments, but is 
inclined “ to hope for a more convincing site for the gardens.” 
E. Unger ( Babylon , pp. 216 ff.) accepts the identification of 



peaov ainoi Kareortjoav rrj X^Pt Ta ^ T V' T V ,{ 
irpoor)yopiat‘ pera. 8e Taura rpv BaftvXwvLav 
SieXdovret 1 6 It r-r)v 'Epv&pav egepevyovrai 8aXar- 

3 rav. peydXoi 8’ ovret ical ovxv^v X™P av St “' 
rropevopevoi iroWa? d(f>oppat rrapey/ovrai t oit 
e piro puer) xpvpevoit ipyaoia • Sto «at aypfiaivei 
t oo? rraparrorapiovt rorrovt rrX^peit vrrapxeiv 
epiropioov evSaipoveov ical peyaXa ovpftaXXopevasv 
irpot ttjv rr/t BafivXeoviat eoricjidveiav. , 

4 'H Se Xepipapit e/c rav 'Appeviasv bpmy XiOov 
erepe ro pev pijicot rro8S>v eicarov Kai rpia- 

6 Kovra, ro Se rrXarot /cal i ra^o? eucooi /cai 
rrevre ■ rovrov Se 7ro\\ot? rrXijdeoi £evya>v 
bpeuctbv re ical fioeucwv Karayayovoa rrpot rov 
rrorapov errefiifiaoev eVt o-^eStav errl ravrrjt 
Se ira pateo pio ao a 2 «erra rov pevparot pjxP L 
BafivXayviat eorpoev avrov rrapa rrjv emoijpo- 
rarrjv o8ov, rrapaSol-ov deapa roit rrapiovoiv' ov 
rivet ovopd&voiv airo rov oxvporot o^eXioicov, 
ov ev rolt errrd roit Karovopa&pevoit epyoit 

12. IloWd»* Se /eat rrapaSo^oiv ovrcov Qeapa- 
ro)v icard rrjv BafivAaiviav ou% rjKiora davpd- 
ferat «at to rrXfjdot rrjt ev avrj} yevyaipevrjt 
docpaXrov rooovrov ydp eonv Osore prj povov 
r ait rooavrait ical rrjXiKavrait olicoSopiait 
Siapiceiv, aXXa, ical ovXXeyopevov rov Xaov eVt 
rov rorrov d<f>ei8a>t dpveoOai /cal %f)paivovra 

1 Gemistus : iic\6vres. 

* xapaitonliraira Vogel: «ora/iouiVairo II, Bekker, Din- 



giving this name to the country. 1 After this they 
pass through Babylonia and empty into the Red Sea. 2 
Moreover, since they are great streams and traverse 
a spacious territory they offer many advantages to 
men who follow a merchant trade; and it is due to 
this fact that the regions along their banks are filled 
with prosperous trading-places which contribute 
greatly to the fame of Babylonia. 

Semiramis quarried out a stone from the mountains 
of Armenia which was one hundred and thirty feet 
long and twenty-five feet wide and thick ; and this she 
hauled by means of many multitudes of yokes of 
mules and oxen to the river and there loaded it on a 
raft, on which slie brought it down the stream to 
Babylonia; she then set it up beside the most famous 
Street, an astonishing sight to all who passed by. 
And this stone is called by some an obelisk 3 from its 
shape, and they number it among the seven wonders 
of the world. 

12 . Although the sights to be seen in Babylonia 
are many and singular, not the least wonderful is the 
enormous amount of bitumen which the country 
produces; so great is the supply of this that it not 
only suffices for their buildings, which are numerous 
and large, but the common people also, gathering at 
the place, 4 draw it out without any restriction, and 

1 Meaning the “ region between the rivers.” Neither of 
the rivers touehes either Media or Paraetaceni, which lies 
between Media and Persis. 

3 i.e. the Persian Gulf. For Diodorus, as for Herodotus (cp. 
1. 1), the “ Red Sea ” was all the water south of Asia. Our 
“ Red Sea ” is the “ Arabian Gulf ” of Diodorus (cp. 1. 33. 8). 

5 Obelisk is a diminutive of obelos (“ a spit ”). 

‘ According to Herodotus (1. 179) the place was eight days’ 
journey from Babylon at the source of the river Is, which waa 
a tributary of the Euphrates. 


2 Kae.w avrl %vXwv. avaptd ppTwv Se to irXrjdoi 
av8pwircov dpvopevcov xadairep ex tivoi irpyr/i 
peydXrji dxepaiov Stapevei to TrXrjpmpa. etxTi 
Se xal irXpaiov Trji irrjyfji TavTrji avdSoati 
tw pev peyeffec fipaxela , Svvap.iv Se Oavpaaiov 
exovera. irpofldXXei 1 yap arpov deimSrj xai 
fiapvv, <p to irpoaeXObv £q>ov airav dirodvqaxei, 
irepiirlirTov o^eia xal irapaSogco TeXevTrj' irvev- 
paToi yap xaToxv XP° V0V viropelvav Sia<p0ecpeTai, 
xadavep xmXvopevp 9 Trji tov irvevpaTOi e/«popas 
viro ttjs irpo<nre<Tovarj<i Tali dvairvoali Svvapew 
evOvi Se StoiSel xal iripirpaTat to ampa, paXuna 

3 tovi irepl tov irvevpova tottovi. eaTi Se xai 
irepav tov iroTapov Xipvp mepeov exovaa tov 
vepi avTTjv tvttov, 2 eis rjv OTav tu epffj) t&v 
aweipcov, bXiyov pev vpx eTal XP° V0V > irpoiwv S’ 
eh to peaov xadanep viro Ttvos filas xaTa- 
ervaTar eavT&> Se fiopd&v xal irdXtv avaaTpesjrat 
7 Tpoaipovpevoi dvTex^Tat pev Trjs exfidaecos, avTi- 
aireopevw S’ viro tivos eoixe • xai to pev irpanov 
inroveKpovTai tovs iroSai, erra ra axeXp pexpt 
rfjs oaepvos, to Se TeXevTalov oXov to rrwpa vdp/cp 
Kparrjffeii <peperai irpos fivdov, xal pe t’ oXlyov 
rereXevTt jkws avafiaXXeTai. 

Ilepi pev ovv t&v ev Tp HafiuXcovla Oavpa^o- 
pevmv dpKe'na> Ta ppdevTa. 

13 . 'H Se Seplpapis eiretSp toIs epyois dirWpxe 
Trepai, ave^evgev eirl M» ]Sias peTa 7 roXXrjs Svva- 
pew xaTavTpaaaa Se irpos opos to xaXovpevov 

1 xpo/8<fA.A.ei VogeI: irpoafiikKei Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 

’ rixov Reiske : -rivov. 

BOOK II. 12. 1-13. 1 

drying it burn it in place of wood. And countless as 
is the multitude of men who draw it out, the amount 
remains undiminished, as if derived from some im¬ 
mense source. Moreover, near this source there is a 
vent-hole, of no great size but of remarkable potency. 
For it emits a heavy sulphurous vapour which brings 
death to all living creatures that approach it, and they 
meet with an end swift and strange; for after being 
subjected for a time to a retention of the breath they 
are killed, as though the expulsion of the breath were 
being prevented by the forcc which has attacked the 
processes of respiration; and immediately the body 
swells and blows up, particularly in the region about 
the lungs. And there is also across the river a lake 
whose edge offers solid footing, and if any man, 
unacquainted with it, enters it he swims for a short 
time, but as he advances towards the centre he is 
dragged down as though by a certain force; and when 
he begins to help himself and makes up his mind to 
turn back to shore again, though he struggles to 
extricate himself, it appears as if he were being 
hauled back by something else; and he becomes 
benumbed, first in his feet, then in his legs as far as 
the groin, and finally, overcome by numbness in his 
whole body, he is carried to the bottom, and a little 
later is cast up dead. 

Now conceming the wonders of Babylonia let what 
has been said suffice. 

13 . After Semiramis had made an end of her build- 
ing operations she set forth in the direction of Media 
with a great force. And when she had arrived at 


Bayitnavov rrXyalov avrov KarearpaTorreSevae, 
Ka\ Karea/cevace rrapdSeiaov, os ryv pev irepi- 
perpov yv StoSeica crraSlmv, iv ireSlw Se nelpevos 
elx e TTVjyv peyaXyv, ef ys dpSevetrdai trvve&atve 

2 to (ftVTOVpyeiov. to Se BayLaravov opos earl 
pev iepov A ios, etc Se tov -rapa rov irapdSeurov 
pepovs diroropaSas e^ei irerpas eis vifros avare i- 
vovtras etnatcalSeica maSlovs. ov to xarobraTov 
pepos Kara^vaaaa t yv ISlav eve)(dpa!jev elxova, 
Sopv<f>6povs aurfj irapaaTya-aaa etcarov. eV- 
eypaifre Se xal Hvplois ypappamv eis ryv rrerpav 
otl 'Zeplpapis tois adypaai t ols rd>v axoXov- 
0ovv tcov viro^vylatv diro tov ireSlov xdxraira tov 
rr poeipy pevov xpypvov Sia tovtcov eis ryv dxpdi- 
peiav rrpoaaveQy . 

3 EiVrevdev 8 dva^ev^aaa xal trapayevopevy 
TTpos Xavova iroXiv rys MySlas tcarevoyaev ev 
tivi peredi p<p ireSltp trerpav to> re vifrei /cal r<p 
peyedei xararrXyxTixyv. evravd' ovv erepov 
trapaSeirrov vireppeyedy xareaxeuacrev, iv perrw 
Tyv irerpav diroXaftovaa, xad' fjv olxoSop^para 
TroXvreXy npos rpvtfirjv etrolyrrev, ef oiv rd re 
/cara tov irapdSeiaov airederbpei <f>vrovpyela /cal 
■tratrav ryv arpanav TrapepjdeftXyxvlav ev rq> 

4 7 reSiep. ev tovtco Se tw tottco ai>xyov evSiarpl- 
yjraaa xpovov icat irdvTcov rd>v eis Tpvtf>rjv dvyicov- 
tcov drroXavaaaa, yrjpai pev voplpois ovx r)6eXy- 

1 This is the earliest mention of the modem Behistun, near 
the “ Gate of Asia ’ ’ on the old highway hetween Babylon 
and Ecbatana, Diodorus preserving the original form of the 
name Bagistana, “ place of the Gods ” or “of God.” The great 
inscription, which hecame the Rosetta 8tone of enneiform, was 


BOOK II. 13. 1-4 

the mountain known as Bagistanus, 1 she encamped 
near it and laid out a park, which had a circum- 
ference of twelve stades and, being situated in the 
plain, contained a great spring by means of which 
her plantings could be irrigated. The Bagistanus 
mountain is sacred to Zeus and on the side facing 
the park has sheer cliffs which rise to a height of 
seventeen stades. The lowest part of these she 
smoothed off and engraved thereon a likeness of 
herself with a hundred spearmen at her side. And 
she also put this inscription on the cliff in Syrian 2 
letters: “ Semiramis, with the pack-saddles of the 
beasts of burden in her army, built up a mound from 
the plain and thereby climbed this precipice, even to 
its very ridge.” 

Setting forth from that place and arriving at the 
city of Chauon in Media, she noticed on a certain 
high plateau a rock both of striking height and mass. 
Accordingly, she laid out there another park of great 
size, putting the rock in the middle of it, and on the 
rock she erected, to satisfy her taste for luxury, some 
very costly buildings from which she used to look 
down both upon her plantings in the park and on the 
whole army encamped on the plain. In this place 
she passed a long time and enjoyed to the full every 
device that contributed to luxury; she was unwilling, 
however, to contract a lawful marriage, being afraid 
placed there about 616 B.o. to recount the defeat hy Darius of 
the rebellion which hroke out in the reign of Camhyses. It 
standa ahout five hundred feet above the ground and the 
magnificent sculptures represent the rehellious satraps, two 
attendants of the king, and Darius making the gesture of 
adoration before the sacred Symbol of Ahuramazda. See 
L. W. King and R. C. Thompson, The Inscription of Darius the 
Oreat at Behistun. 

2 ».«. Assyrian. 



oev, eiiXafiovpevi) prjirore oreprjdfj rrjs dpxfjs, 
eTriXeyopevr) Be rStv orpancoriov rovs evirpeireia 
Biafyepovras rovrois epiayero, /eat Tramas r ovs 
avrfi TrXrjoidoavras tf<f>avi£e. 

6 Mst/x §g ravra eir' 'Kx/Saravoiv rf)v rropeiav 
TTOiT}oap,evr) irapeyevero irpos opos rb Zap/calov 
KaXovpevov tovto B’ eVt iroXXovs iraprjKov 
oraSiovs xal irXfjpes ov Kprjpvcbv /eat tf>apdyyaiv 
paKpav^ et^e rrjv irepioBov. erpiXoripeiro ovv 
apa pev pvrjpelov ad avaro v eavrfjs diroXiirelv, 
apua Be ovvropov iroir\oao6 ai rrjv oBov Bioirep 
rovs re Kprjpvovs KaraKoyjraaa /eat rovs koiXovs 
roirovs xdsaaaa ovvropov /cal iroXvreXr) /ear- 
eo/cevaoev oBov, r) pi%pi rov vvv 'EepipdpiBos 

6 KaXelrai. irapayevrfieloa B’ eis 'Ei/cftdrava, 
ttoXlv ev ireBiu/ Keipevrjv, Kareatcevacrev ev avrfi 
ttoXvtcXtj BaoiXeia /cal rrjv aXXrjv etripeXeiav 
eiroirjoaro rov roirov irepirrorepav. avvBpov 
yap ovarjs rfjs 7roXeois /cal prjBapov ovveyyvs 
vnapxova-rjs irrjyrjs, erroir)oev avrfjv iraoav 
Karappvrov, eirayayovoa irXelorov /eat KaXXi- 
orov vBa/p pera TroXXrjS tcatcoiradeLas re /eat 

7 Bairdvrjs. ra>v yap 'E/cftardvoov dss BcoBe/ca ora- 
Biovs dire^ov eonv opos b KaXelrai pev 'Opovrrjs, 
rrj Be rpa-^vrTjn /eat r& irpos vyos dvarelvovn 
peyedei Bia<f>opov, &>? av rijv rrpoofiaoiv eyov 
opdiov e£o? rrjs aKpeopeias araBUov eiKooi rrevre. 
e/e Qarepov Be pepovs ovarjs Xlpvtjs pieyaXrjs eis 
irorapov exftaXXo vorjs, BieaKa-fye rb irpoeiprjpevov 

8 opos Kara rrjv pi%av. fjv B ’ f] Biebpvg r b pev 
irXdros ttoBSjv irevreKaiBeKa , r b B’ vrfros rerrapd- 
Kovra' Bt f)s eirayayovoa rov e’/e rrjs Xlpvrjs 

BOOK II. 13. 4-« 

that she might be deprived of lier supreme position, 
but choosing out the most handsome of the soldiers 
she consorted with them and then made away with 
all who had lain with her. 

After this she advanced in the direction of Ecba¬ 
tana and arrived at the mountain called Zarcaeus; 1 
and since this extended many stades and was full of 
cliffs and chasms it rendered the joumey round a long 
one. And so she became ambitious both to leave an 
immortal monument of herself and at the same time 
to shorten her way; consequently she cut through 
the cliffs, filled up the low places, and thus at great 
expense built a short road, which to this day is called 
the road of Semiramis. Upon arriving at Ecbatana, 
a city which lies on the plain, she built in it an expen- 
sive palace and in every other way gave rather 
exceptional attention to the region. For since the 
city had no water supply and there was no spring in 
its vicinity, she made the whole of it well watered by 
bringing to it with much hardship and expense an 
abundance of the purest water. For at a distance 
from Ecbatana of about twelve stades is a mountain, 
which is called Orontes and is unusual for its rugged- 
ness and enormous height, since the ascent, straight 
to its summit, is twenty-five stades. And since a 
great lake, which emptied into a river, lay on the 
other side, she made a cutting through the base of this 
mountain. The tunnel was fifteen feet wide and forty 
feet high; and through it she brought in the river 
1 The Zagros range. 



7 rorapov eirXrjpwae rrjv iroXiv vSaroi. ravra 
fiev OVV eiTolrjOeV €V T7j MrjSla. 

14 . Mera Se ravra iirrjXde rrjv re FlepalSa 
iea .1 rrjv aXXrjv x^P av airaaav rj<c iirrjpxe tcarci 
rrjv ‘Aalav. iravraxov Se ra pev oprj ieal ra? 
airopp&yat irerpat Siatcoirrovaa /careaicevaaev 
oSoi><! iroXvreXel<;, ev Se roZ? ireSloit eirolei yu>p,ara, 
irore pev ra<pov<j icaraa/ceva^ovaa rot? reXevr&ai 
ra>v rjyepovcov, irore Se iroXeiv ev Tot? dvaarrjpaai 
KaroLKL^ovoa. elc!) 9 ei Se ical /cara ra? arparo- 
ireSelat puepd ywpara icaraa/ceva^eiv, ecf>’ d>v 
ica 9 iardaa rrjv ISiav aicrjvrjv airaaav icarcoirreve 
rrjv irapepfioXrjv- Sio icai iroXXa /cara rrjv ‘Aalav 
pexpi rov vvv Siapevei rcbv vir etcelvijs tcara- 
atcevaa 9 evrcov ical tcaXelrai ZepipapiSos epya. 

Mera Se ravra rr/v re Aiyvirrov iraaav iirfjXOe 
/eai rrj<c Ai/ 3 vrj<t ra irXelara Karaarpeyfrapevrj 
iraprjXQev et? "Appcova, XPV<ropevrj ra> 0 ea> irepl 
rrj<i tSLas reXevrfjs. Xeyerai S’ avrfj yeveadai 
Xoyiov eg dv 9 pcbircov a<f>avio 8 rjaea 8 ai ical tcara 
rrjv ’Aalav irap evloit ra>v e 9 va>v aOavarov 
rev^eadai npfjr oirep eaeaOai tcaO' ov av ypovov 
6 vlo<! avrfj Nivvai emftovXevarj. airo Se rov- 
reov yevopevrj r% Al 9 ioirla<i eirrjX 9 e ra irXelara 
tcaraarpe<f>opevrj ical ra icar a rrjv ^tupat/ Bewpevrj 
irapaSoffa. elvai yap ev avrfj <f>aai Xlpvrjv 
rerpaycovov, rrjv pev ireplperpov exovaav iroSwv 
<»? etcarov e^rjKovra, to S’ vScop rfj pev XP°? 
irapairXrjcnov /ciwaftdpei, rrjv S' oaprjv ica 9 ’ 
virep&oXrjv rjSelav, ovtc dvbpoiov diva iraXaiw’ 

1 This is obviously an attempt to explain the raaay mounds 
which dotted the landscape of this region in the time of 

BOOK II. 13. 8-14. 4 

which flowed from the lake, and filled the city with 
water. Now this is what she did in Media. 

14 . After this she visited Persis and every other 
country over which she ruled throughout Asia. 
Everywhere she cut through the mountains and the 
precipitous cliffs and constructed expensive roads, 
while on the plains she made mounds, some times 
constructing them as tombs for those of her generals 
who died, and sometimes founding cities on their 
tops. And it was also her custom, whenever she 
made camp, to build little mounds, upon which 
setting her tent she could look down upon all the 
encampment. As a consequence many of the works 
she built throughout Asia remain to this day and are 
called Works of Semiramis. 1 

After this she visited all Egypt, and after subduing 
most of Libya she went also to the oracle of Ammon 2 
to inquire of the god regarding her own end. And 
the account runs that the answer was given her that 
she would disappear from among men and receive 
undying honour among some of the peoples of Asia, 
and that this would take place when her son Ninyas 
should conspire against her. Then upon her retum 
from these regions she visited most of Ethiopia, sub¬ 
duing it as she went and inspecting the wonders of the 
land. For in that country, they say, there is a lake, 
square in form, with a perimeter of some hundred and 
sixty feet, and its water is like cinnabar in colour and 
the odour of it is exceeding sweet, not unlike that of 

Diodorus as well as to-day and are the remains of ancient 
dwelling sites. 

2 The shrine of Zeus-Ammon in the Oasis of Siwah, which is 
described in Book 17. 50, in connection with the celebrated 
visit to it of Alexander. 



Suvafiiv, 8' e%eiv irapdSogov rov movra 
4>aalv ei? fiaviav efirrirrreiv /cal rrdvff a rrpdrepov 
8ieXa0ev dfiaprrjaa ? eavrov /carijyopelv. rol<s 
fitv ovv Taura Xeyovaiv ov/c av r i? pa8ico<s 

15. T a<f>h<s 8k t&v reXevTTjadvrciiv l8ico<s 1 oi 
Karh rrjv AiOiarriav rroiovvrai' rapi)^evaavre<! 
yhp ra ampara /cal Trepixeavres avrol<i woXXfjv 
veXov lardaiv em arrjXrps, 5>are rot<s rrapiovai 
cf>alvea0ai 8id rrj<i veXov ro rov rereXevrrjxdro<s 

2 a&pa, Ka0drrep 'H po8oro<s eiptjxe. K.rrjaia<: 8’ 6 
KwStos drro<f>aiv6p,evo<s rovrov a%e8id£eiv, avro<s 

ro fiev a&fia rapi)^evea0ai, rrjv pevroi ye 
veXov/xr] rrepi-^eiaOai yvpvol<s Tots amfiaar xara- 
Kav07)aea0ai ydp ravra /cal Xvpav0evra reXeco<s 

3 ttjv ofioiorr/ra fvq 8vvrfaea0ai 8iarrfpelv. 8io /cal 
Xpvaijv el/cova /caraa/ceva%ea0ai KoiXrjv, el<s f)v 
evre0evro<} rov ve/cpov rrepl rijv el/cova %eta0ai 
ttjv veXov rov 8e /caraa/cevdafj,aro<: re0evro<s errl 
rov ra<f)ov 8ia ri)<s veXov <f>avi}vai rov yfpvaov 

4 a<f>wp.oio)/j,evov ra> rereXevrrjKori. rov<s pev ov v 
rrXovalov s avrcbv ovrco 0dirreo0ai (f>rjai, rov<s 8’ 
iXarrovav KaraXirrovra<s ovaiat dpyvpa<s rvyyd- 
veiv eiKovot, rov<s 8e rcevrjra s /cepa/xlvrj<;- rrjv 8e 
veXov rraaiv eljap/ceiv 8ia ro rrXelarrjv yevvaa0at 

1 Mus Bekker, Vogel: ISlas Dindorf. 

1 Herodotus (3. 24) says nothing of the sort. According to 
him the body is shrunk and eovered with gjrpsum, which is 
painted in suoh a way as to make it resemhle a living man; 
then “ they set it within a hollow pillar of hyelos.” It is diffi- 
onlt to understand how some translators and eommentators 
take this word to mean “ porcelain,” for Herodotus goes on 

BOOK II. 14. 4-15. 4 

old wine; moreover, it has a remarkable power; for 
whoever has drunk of it, they say, falis into a frenzy 
and accuses himself of every sin which he had 
formerly committed in secret. However, a man may 
not readily agree with those who teli such things. 

15. In the burial of their dead the inhabitants of 
Ethiopia follow customs peculiar to themselves; for 
after they have embalmed the body and have poured 
a heavy coat of glass over it they stand it on a pillar, 
so that the body of the dead man is visible through 
the glass to those who pass by. This is the statement 
of Herodotus. 1 But Ctesias of Cnidus, declaring that 
Herodotus is inventing a tale, gives for his part this 
account. The body is indeed embalmed, but glass is 
not poured about the naked bodies, for they would be 
bumed and so completely disfigured that they could 
no longer preserve their likeness. For this reason 
they fashion a hollow statue of gold and when the 
corpse has been put into this they pour the glass over 
the statue, and the figure, prepared in this way, is 
then placed at the tomb, and the gold, fashioned as it 
is to resemble the deceased, is seen through the glass. 
Now the rich among them are buried in this wise, he 
says, but those who leave a smaller estate receive a 
silver statue, and the poor one made of earthenware; 
as for the glass, there is enough of it for everyone, 

to say that “ it is quarried hy them in ahundance and is easy 
to work.” In Herodotus’ day it prohahly meant some trans- 
parent stone, perhaps alahaster (ep. M. L. Trowhridge, 
PhUologicai Studia in Ancimt Olas» (University of Illinois 
Studies in Language and Literature, 1928), pp. 23 fi.); but hy 
the time of Diodorus hydos was the term nsed for “ glass.” 
Strabo (17. 2. 3) agrees with Diodorus in sayrng that in one 
manner of hurial the Ethiopiana “poured glass over” the 
bodies of the dead. 



Kara ttjv klQio-nlav Kai TeXems irapa tois 

6 eyx^piois eirnroXd^eiv. irepl Se t&v voplpwv 
t&v irapa toZs A idloyp-i Kai t&v aXXeov t&v yivo- 
fievcov ev jfj tovtcov %®/oa ra Kvpi&TaTa tcal 
pvrjpijs agia pucpov varepov avaypatyopev, orav 
Kai ra? iraXaias avT&v irpageis /cal pvOoXoylas 

16. 'H Se %epipapis KaraaTrjaaaa tu re /cara 
ttjv AiBioirlav Kai ttjv AXyvi ttov eiravrjXde pera, 
rfjs Svvdpecos eis Udierpa ttjs ’A alas. exovaa Se 
Svvdj.ieis peyaXas Kai iroXvxpoviov elprjvrjv ayovaa 
<f>iXoTipa>s eaxe irpa^al ti Xapirpov Kara iroXe- 

2 pov. irvvdavopevrj Se to t &v 'IvS&v eOvos 
peyicnov eivai t&v Kara ttjv olKovpevpv Kai 
irXelaTTjv re Kai KaXXiar-rjv y&pav vepeaOai, 
SievoeiTO mpareveiv ei? ttjv ’1 vSiktjv, tjs efiacrl- 
Xeve pev ‘S.TafipofiaTTjs Kar eKelvovs tovs 
Xpbvovs, <tt paTtwT&v S’ ei%ei> avapldprjTOV 
irXrjOos' virrjpxov S’ avT& Kai iXetjtav re? iroXXoi 
Ka0’ virepPoXijv Xapirp&s KeKoaprjpevoi rot? eis 

3 t ov iroXepov KaTairX-rjKTiKols. rj yap 'IvSiktj 
X™P a Sid(popos ovaa t& KaXXei Kai iroXXois 
SietXrjppevrj irorapois dpSeverai re i roWa^oO Kai 
Sittovs KaO' eKaa-TOV eviavTov eK<j>epei Kapirovs’ 
Sio Kai t&v irpos to f ijv iiriTTjSeleov toctovtov 
e%et irXrjdos &<tt€ Sia iravTOS a<p8ovov diroXavtriv 
Tot? ey-poplois napexeadai. XeyeTai Se pr/SeiroTe 
Kar avTpv yeyovevai anoSelav rj <\>6opav Kapir&v 

4 Sict ttjv evKpaaiav t&v tottcov. e^« Se Kai t&v 
eXe<f>dvTO>v airiuTov 7 rXrjdos, oi rai? re dXxais 
Kai rals tov a & par os p&pais iroXv irpoexovcri 
t&v ev Tjj Aiftvrj yivopevcov, opoiws Se xp va ov, 

BOOK II. 15. 4-16. 4 

since it occurs in great abundance in Ethiopia and is 
quite current among the inhabitants. With regard to 
the customs prevailing among the Ethiopians and the 
other features of their country we shall a little later 
set forth those that are the most important and 
deserving of record, at which time we shall also re- 
count their early deeds and their mythology. 1 

16. But after Semiramis had put in order the affairs 
of Ethiopia and Egypt she returned with her force to 
Bactra in Asia. And since she had great forces and 
had been at peace for some time she became eager to 
achieve some brilliant exploit in war. And when she 
was informed that the Indian nation was the largest 
one in the world and likewise possessed both the 
most extensive aud the fairest country, she purposed 
to make a campaign into India. 2 Stabrobates at 
that time was king of the country and had a multitude 
of soldiers without number; and many elephants 
were also at his disposal, fitted out in an exceedingly 
splendid fashion with such things as would strike 
terror in war. For India is a land of unusual beauty, 
and since it is traversed by many rivers it is supplied 
with water over its whole area and yields two harvests 
each year; consequently it has such an abundance of 
the necessities of life that at all times it favours its 
inhabitants with a bounteous enjoyment of them. 
And it is said that because of the favourable climate 
in those parts the country has never experienced a 
famine or a destruction of crops. It also has an 
unbelievable multitude of elephants, which both in 
courage and in strength of body far surpass those of 

1 This is done in Book 3. 5 ff. 

2 This campaign was doubted already by the ancient writers; 
cp. Strabo 15. 1. 5 f. 



apyvpov, aiSypov, ‘/akicov irpos Se tovtois Xidtav 
iravioitov /eal iroXvreX&v eanv ev avrfj irXrjOos, 
ert Se Ttav aXXarv dirdvTcov cryeSov to>v i rpos 
rpv<f>r]v Kal ttXovtov Siaieivovrwv. 

'Tirep dav ra /cena pepo? y Xep.lpap.ii a/covaaaa 
irporjx^V py&ev irpoaSiKpdelaa tov irpos 'lvSovs 

6 e^evey xelv iroXepov. opeocra S’ avrr/v peydXtav 
icaO’ virepftoXrjv irpoerSeopevpv Svvapecov, ig- 
eirepyjrev ayyeXovs eis airaaas ra? aaTpaireias, 1 
StaxeXevaapevy tols iirdpxots KaTaypa<f>eiv to>v 
veta v t oiis apiarovs, Sovaa tov apidpov /cara ra 
peyedr) twv iffvwv irpoaera^e Se irdcn /cara .- 
cnceva^eiv k ac vas iravoirXias Kal Tois aXXo ts 
diram. Xapirptas irapayiveaOau Kexoapp pevovs 

6 pera rpiiov It os eis Ba/rrpa. peTeirepyjraTO Se 
Kal vaviryyovs ex re <f>oiv£xys Kal XvpLas Kal 
K virpov Kal Trjs aXXrjs Trjs irapadaXaTTiov xd>pas, 
ols dipdovov vXyv perayayovaa SiexeXevaaTO 

7 KaiatTKevd^eiv iroTapia irXola Siaiperd. 6 ydp 
'lvSos irorapos, peyvaros dav to>v irepl tovs toitovs 
Kal Tyv fiaaiXeiav aiiTrjs opi^cov, iroXXoav irpoa- 
eSelro irXoicav irpos Te Tyv SidjSamv Kal irpos to 
tovs 'IvSoiis diro tov tcov apvvaadar irepl Se tov 
iroTapov ovk ovarjs vXys hvayKalov yv ex Trjs 
BaKTpiavrjs ire£fj irapaxopl^eadaL ra irXola. 

8 Qecopovoa 5’ f) eavTtjv ev t fj to>v 
eXetpavTwv %/Jeta iroXv Xeiiropevyv, iirevorjcraTO 2 
KaTaaKeva^eiv etStaXa 3 tovtcov tcov Jmw v, eXiri- 
£ovaa KaTairXrj^eaOai tovs ’I vSovs Sid ro vopi^eiv 

1 aarpmcelat Dindorf : «rrpoToireSe/or. 

* ti after intro^aaro deleted by Hertlein. 


BOOK II. 16. 4-8 

Libya, and likewise gold, silver, iron, and copper; 
furthermore, within its borders are to be found great 
quantities of precious stones of every kind and of 
practically all other things which contribute to 
luxury and wealth. 1 

When Semiramis had received a detailed account 
of these facts she was led to begin her war against the 
Indians, although she had been done no injury by 
them. And realizing that she needed an exceedingly 
great force in addition to what she had she despatched 
messengers to all the satrapies, commanding the 
govemors to enrol the bravest of the young men and 
setting their quota in accordance with the size of each 
nation; and she further ordered them all to make 
new suits of armour and to be at hand, brilliantly 
equipped in every other respect, at Bactra on the 
third year thereafter. She also summoned ship- 
wrights from Phoenicia, Syria, Cyprus, and the rest 
of the lands along the sea, and shipping thither an 
abundance of timber she ordered them to build river 
boats which could be taken to pieces. For the Indus 
river, by reason of its being the largest in that 
region and the boundary of her kingdom, required 
many boats, some for the passage across and others 
from which to defend the former from the Indians; 
and since there was no timber near the river the 
boats had to be brought from Bactriana by land. 

Observing that she was greatly inferior because of 
her lack of elephants, Semiramis conceived the plan 
of making dummies like these animals, in the hope 
that the Indians would be struck with terror because 
1 India is more fully described in chaps. 35 ff. 

’ fISaiAa Vogel: ISiwpa. 



avToii<; prjS’ elvai to avvoXov e\ecf)avTa<; e’/cTO? 
9 t&v Kara ttjv 'IvSiKpv. eniXegaoa Se /3o&v 
peXdvcov TpidtcovTa puptaSas ra pev Kpka rot? 

at? Kal Tot? 7rpo? ttjv t&v KaracjKeva- 
crparcov vnppealav reraypevoi<; Sieveipe, ra? Se 
fivpaa? auppdmouaa Kal X°P T0V nXrjpovaa 
KareiTKevaaev etSa>\a, Kard nav dTrop.ip.ovp.evr) 
TTJV t&v pwv tovtcov <j>vcnv. eKaarov Se tov¬ 
tcov elyev eVro? dvSpa tov en ipeXrja opevov Kal 
KappXov, ucf>’ ov (pepopevov <f>avTaoiav rot? 
nbppcoBev op&aiv aXpOivou Opplov napelxero. 

10 ol Se r avra KaraaKevd^ov re? aurjj re^iarat 
npoaeKaprepovv Tot? epyot? ev tivi nepiftoXw 
nepitpKoSopppevcp Kal tti 5\,a? exovri rppovpeva<! 
enipeX&<;, &ore prjSeva ppre t&v eocodev etjievai 
TexvlT&v prjre t&v efjcoOev elaievai npo<i aurous. 
tovto S’ enolpoev, oncos pr)Sel<! t&v e^coOev iSp to 
yivopevov ppSe Siarreap <f>ppp npo<; Ti/Soo? irepl 


17. ’E7ret S’ at re vrje<; Kal t a Oppia Kar- 
eaKevdaOpaav ev rot? Svalv erecn, t& t pirco 
perenep-^raro ra? navraxoOev SvvdpeK et? ttjv 
BaKTpiavpv. to Se nXpOos tt}<; d6pota0eiap<; 
arpanas rjv, t»? Ktt) alas 6 K viSios dveypayjre, 
ne^&v pev TpiaKoaiai pvpidSei, Innecov Se ehcoai 1 
2 pvpidSes, dp parco v Se SeKa pvpidSev. vnrjp^pv 
Se Kal avSpe<; ini Kaprfkcov oxovpevoi, paxalpa ? 
Terpanrfxeci e^oi/re?, tov aptOpov icroi r of? 
appaai. vav<; Se norapiaf KareaKevaae Siai- 
pera<; Sta^tA-ta?, ai? napeoKevdoaro KappXovs 
ra? 7r e£jj napaKopigovcras rd crKacpp. ecpopovv 
1 ef/coo-1 Vogel: irfVTr.Kovra C, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK II. 16. 8-17. 2 

of their belief that no elephants ever existed at all 
apart from those found in India. Accordingly she 
chose out three hundred thousand black oxen and 
distributed their meat among her artisans and the 
men who had been assigned to the task of making 
the figures, but the hides she sewed together 
and stuffed with straw, and thus made dummies, 
copying in every detail the natural appearance of 
these animals. Each dummy had within it a man to 
take care of it and a camel and, when it was moved 
by the latter, to those who saw it from a distance it 
looked like an actual animal. And the artisans who 
were engaged in making these dummies for her 
worked at their task in a certain court which had 
been surrounded by a wall and had gates which were 
carefully guarded, so that no worker within could 
pass out and no one from outside could come in to 
them. This she did in order that no one from the 
outside might see what was taking place and that no 
report about the dummies might escape to the 

17. When the boats and the beasts had been pre- 
pared in the two allotted years, on the third she 
summoned her forces from everywhere to Bactriana. 
And the multitude of the army which was assembled, 
as Ctesias of Cnidus has recorded, was three million 
foot-soldiers, two hundred thousand cavalry, and one 
hundred thousand chariots. There were also men 
mounted on carneis, carrying swords four cubits long, 
as many in number as the chariots. And river boats 
which could be taken apart she built to the number of 
two thousand, and she had collected carneis to carry 
the vessels overland. Camels also bore the dummies 



8e Kal ra twv eXetpavToov eibcoXa KapLTjXoi, KaObrn 
irpoelprjTai' irpot 8' auTa? roi)? hnrovt ol mpa- 
ti&toi avvdyovTes avvrfleis inoiovv t ov jxrj 

3 <j}o/3eia0ai ttjv ayptoTTjTa t ebv Bijplaiv. ro irapa- 
irXTjaiov 8e 7roXXoi? ereatv varepov eirpage 
Hepaeiv; 6 t£>v M aiceBovcov fiacnXevs, ore i rpo? 
'Pco/xatov? epi,eXXe SiaKivSvveveiv e^oj/ra? e/e 
At/9i/»7? eXefiavTa* *;. dU’ ov t’ e/ceivrp poirrjv 
evey/celv et? t ov rroXe/xov avve^rj ttjv irepl ra 
ToiavTa <nrovbrjv Kal <f>iXoTexviav ovre Xepupd- 
pubi- irepl 5)V aKpcfteiTTepov 6 irpoiwv X 070 ? 

4 'O 8e Ttov 'Ivbtbv ftaaiXevs Sra/Spo/SaTT?? irvv- 
davopievo? ra Te peyedtj t£>v ovo/xa^o/xevuv 1 8vvd- 
pjemv Kal ttjv VTrepftoXrjv t i)? ei? tov iroXepov 
TrapacrKevfjs, ecnrevhev ev a-rracnv vnepOeadai ttjv 

6 'S.epLtpapuv. Kal irp&Tov jiev eK tov KaXdpbov 
KaTeaKevaae irXola noTapua tct paKi<rxi\ia‘ fj 
yap 'IvBiktj 7r apa Te toi)? 7roTa/xou? Kal tou? 
eXcoSei? T07rou? tpepet KaXdjiov ttXtj6o<;, ov t o 
vaxo? ovk av paSiav; dvdpwrrof TrepiXdfior 
XiyeTai 8e Kal -ra? eK tovtcov KaiaoKeva^opLeva<; 
vavf 8ia<f>opov<; /cara ttjv XP e ’ Lav virdpx^v, ovaijt 

6 dtnjTTTOv t ai/Tt/? ttjs vXtj<;. Tronjadp.evos 8e Kal 
ttj*% t&v oirXeov KaTaaKevrp; 2 1toXXtjv empLeXeiav 
Kal Traaav erreXdoov ttjv ’I v8iktjv rjdpoiae Svvapuv 
ttoXv pLel&va tj)? SepupdfuSi crvvax0eio-Tj<;. 

1 ovana£op.evuv Vogel: iroifia{o/ifvai’ F, Bekker, Dindorf. 

* KaratrKcvijs Vogel: irapaiTKeujjs II, Bekker, Dindorf. 

1 i.e. the elephante. 

* In the Third Macedonian War, 171-167 B.o., Polyaenus 
(4. 20) says that Perseus constructed wooden dummies of 

BOOK II. 17. 2-6 

of the elephants, as has been mentioned; and the 
soldiers, by bringing their horses up to these camels, 
accustomed them not to fear the savage nature of 
the beasts. 1 A similar thing was also done many 
years later by Perseus, the king of the Macedonians, 
before his decisive conflict with the Romans who had 
elephants from Libya. 2 But neither in his case did 
it tum out that the zeal and ingenuity displayed in 
such matters had any effect on the conflict, nor in that 
of Semiramis, as will be shown more precisely in our 
further account. 

When Stabrobates, the king of the Indians, heard 
of the immensity of the forces mentioned and of the 
exceedingly great preparations which had been made 
for the war, he was anxious to surpass Semiramis in 
every respect. First of ali, then, he made four thou- 
sand river boats out of reeds; for along its rivers and 
marshy places India produces a great abundance of 
reeds, so large in diameter that a man cannot easily 
put his arms about them ; 3 and it is said, furthermore, 
that ships built of these are exceedingly serviceable, 
since this wood does not rot. Moreover, he gave 
great care to the preparation of his arms and by 
visiting all India gathered a far grcater force than 
that which had been collected by Semiramis. Fur- 

elephants, and tliat a man within them imitated their 
trumpeting. The horses of the Macedonians were led up to 
these and thus accustomed to the appearanee and trumpeting 
of the Roman elephants. Zonaras (9. 22) adds that the 
dummies were also smeared with an ointment “to give them 
a dreadful odour.” 

3 In Book 17. 90. 6 Diodorus describes trees of India which 
four men ean scarcely get their arms about, and Strabo 
(15. 1. 56), on the authority of Megasthenes, speaks of reeds 
some of which are three cubits and others six in diameter. 



7 iroiTja-dfievos Se /cal t&v dypiwv iXajidinmv Oppav 
Kal TroWaTrXaaidrras; tous TrpoinrdpxovTas, e/co- 
aprjaev diravTas rot? et? tov iroXepov Kara-nXip 

8 KTiKolt Xap,trpS)<r Sio /cal avveftaive /cara rrjv 
etf/oSov avT&v Sid re to 7 TXijdos /cal rpv eVl t&v 
doipa/cioiv /caTaa/cevrjv avuTroaraTOV av6 pmirivij 
<f>vcrei <j>aive<T0ai tyjv eiriif/dveiav. 

18. E7rei S' avT& irdvTa to 1 7rpo? tov iroXe- 
pov /caTea/cevaaro, 7rpo? rrjv Xepipapiv /ca6' oSov 
ovaav cnreaTeiXev dyyeXovs, ey/caXwv oti irpo- 
/caTap)(eTai tov iroXepov ppSev dSiKtjdeiaa • 
7 roXXa Se Kal apppra KaT avTrjs a»? eTatpa? 2 
/9 Xacr<pT]pijcra<j Sta t&v ypapparoiv Kal #eoi)? 
empapTVpdpevo?, rjirelXet KaTairoXepj<ra<; avrr/v 

2 <TTavp& irpoarjX&creiv. t) Se Xepipapis dva- 
yvovaa Ttjv eiriaToXrjv kcu KaTayeXdaaaa t&v 
yeypappevcov, Sia t&v epycov ecf/rjcre tov 'IvSov 
ireipdcrecrOai ri}? irepl aiiTtjv aperr}?. eirel Se 
7 rpodyovaa pera tj)? Svvapea><; etrl tov TvSov 
7 roTapov ■KapeyevriOp, KaTeXa/3e ra t&v iroXepiwv 

3 irXola 7rpo? pa^pv eroipa. Sioirep Kal aini) 
KaTapTiaaaa Ta^etu? ra? vavv Kal irXrjp&aaaa 
t&v KpaTiaTOiv em/3aT&v avveaTr/aaTo Kara tov 
iroTapov vaupa^lav, avptfitXoTtpovpevoiv Kal 
t&v irapep/3e/3Xr)KOTa>v irapa to pelBpov ire£&v. 

4 eVt iroXvv Se XP° V0V r °v kivSvvov TrapaTeivovTO<c 
Kal irpo0vpa><; eKaTepcov dya/viaapevwv, to TeXev- 
Taiov fj %epipapi<; eviK/jae Kal Sietf/deipe t&v 
irXoiasv irepl ^'Xta, avveXafte S' alxpaX&TOV? 

5 ovk 0X17009. eirapOeiaa Se tj; vikiq to, 9 eV t& 

1 ri added by Gemistus. 


BOOK II. 17. 7-18. 5 

thermore, liolding a hunt of the wild elephants and 
multiplying many times the number alrcady at his 
disposal, he fitted them all out splendidly with such 
things as would strike terror in war; and the conse- 
quence was that when they advanced to the attack 
the multitude of them as well as the towers upon 
their backs made them appear like a thing beyond 
the power of human nature to withstand. 

18. When he had made all his preparations for the 
war he despatched messengers to Semiramis, who 
was already on the road, accusing her of being the 
aggressor in the war although she had been injured 
in no respect; then, in the course of his letter, after 
saying many slanderous things against her as being 
a strumpet and calling upon the gods as witnesses, he 
threatened her with crucifixion when he had defeated 
her. Semiramis, however, on reading his letter 
dismissed his statements with laughter and re- 
marked, “ It will be in deeds 1 that the Indian will 
make trial of my valour.” And when her advance 
brought her with her force to the Indus river she 
found the boats of the enemy ready for battlc. 
Consequently she on her side, hastily putting together 
her boats and manning them with her best marincs, 
joined battle on the river, while the foot-soldiers 
which were drawn up along the banks also partici- 
pated eagerly in the contest. The struggle raged 
for a long time and both sides fought spiritedly, but 
finally Semiramis was victorious and destroyed about 
a thousand of the boats, taking also not a few mcn 
prisoners. Elated now by her victory, she reduced to 
1 t.e. and not in words. 

1 &s ercupa 1 Vogel: &s iralpav D, tls cTaiptiav F and 

aooepted bv all editors. 



iroTap& v/jaovs Kal iroXets i^rjvSpaTToSlaaro, Kal 
crvvrjyayev atypaXarcov aa/para/v xnrep t as SeKa 

Mera Se ravff’ 6 pev t&v 'IvS&v ftaoiXevs 
cnrrjyaye ttjv Svvap.iv airb tov irorapov, arpocr- 
iroiovpevos pev ava^copelv Sia <f>o/3ov, rf) 8’ 
dXrjOeia j3ovXopevo <? tovs rroXepiovs irporpe- 

6 iftaadai 8ia/3f)vai tov irorapov. rj Se ^.epipapis, 
Kara vovv ainfj t&v Trpaypdniov irpo^copovvrcov, 
etfevge tov irorapov KaraaKevdaaaa iroXoreXr) 
Kal peyaXtjv yeif/vpav, St f)s airatrav Siaxo- 
piaaaa ttjv Svvapiv eirl pev tov ^evypaTos 
tbvXaKTjv KareXnrev avSp&v egaKia-pvpitov, tt) 
8’ aXXrj a t paria Trpofjyev eiriSi&Kovaa tovs 
'IrSou?, irporjyovpevav t&v elS&Xtov, oirtos oi 
t&v iroXepuov Karaa kottoi r& {iaaikei ivnayyel- 

7 Xcoai to itXt)8os t&v rrap ainfj drjpitov. ov 
SieyfrevoQrj Se /tara ye tovto ttjs eXirtSos, aXXa 
t&v eirl naraa kotttjv eKveprpdevTiov t ois 'IpSoZ? 
airayyeXXovrcov to irXrjOos t&v t rapa rois 
iroXepiois iXe(f>dvT03v, airavres SitjiropovvTO 
rroBev ainfj avvaKoXovOel tooovto ttXtjOos Otj- 

8 picov. oi/ prjv epeive ye to y/revSos irXeia y^pbvov 
KpvTTTopevov T&V ydp 7 rapa tt) lepipapiSi 
OTparevopevcov rives KaTeXrjtf/Brjaav vvktos iv rf) 
arparoTreSeia padvpovvres ra irepi t as tftvXaKas' 
<f>o$rj6evTes Se ttjv eiraKoXovdovaav Tipcoplav 
TjinopoXrjaav irpos tovs iroXepiovs Kal ttjv Kara 
tovs iXefpavras irXavrjv dirijyyeikav. e<f>’ ols 
dapprjaas 6 t&v ’I vS&v fiaoiXevs Kal rf) Svvapei 
SiayyeiAas ra rrepl t&v eiS&Xcov, eirearpe-^rev eirl 
roi/s 'Aaavpiovs Siaragas ttjv Svvapiv. 


BOOK II. 18. 5-8 

slavery the islands in the river and the cities on 
them and gathered in more than one hundred 
thousand captives. 

After these events the king of the Indians withdrew 
his force from the river, giving the appearance of 
retreating in fear but actually with the intention of 
enticing the enemy to cross the river. Thereupon 
Semiramis, now that her undertakings were prosper- 
ing as she wished, spanned the river with a costly 
and large bridge, by means of which she got all 
her forces across; and then she left sixty thousand 
men to guard the pontoon bridge, while with the rest 
of her army she advanced in pursuit of the Indians, 
the dummy elephants leading the way in order that 
the enemy’s spies might report to the king the 
multitude of these animals in her army. Nor was she 
deceived in this hope; on the contrary, when tliose 
who had becn despatched to spy her out rcported to 
the Indians the multitude of elephants among the 
enemy, they were all at a loss to discover from 
where such a multitude of beasts as accompanied 
her could have come. However, the deception did not 
remain a secret for long; for some of Semiramis’ 
troops were caught neglecting their night watches in 
the camp, and these, in fear of the consequent punish- 
ment, deserted to the enemy and pointed out to 
them their mistake regarding the nature of the 
elephants. Encouraged by this information, the king 
of the Indians, after informing his army about the 
dummies, set his forces in array and tumed about 
to face the Assyrians. 



19. To S’ avrb feal rrjs 'S.epipdpiSo/; emre- 
Xovcrrjs, &s fjyyiaav aXXi 7 X 0 «? ra crrparoneSa, 
%Ta/3po/3uT'>}'i 6 t&v ’lvS&v fiacriXevs npoan- 
eerreiXe noXi/ irporr 7 ? epdXayyos tou? inneh p era 

2 t&v appareov. Setjapevr)s Se rrjs fiaaiXlaaris 
eitpdxrTa )? rrjv eejioSov t&v imrbtov, kcu t&v 
K areaxevaapeveov iXeepdvrcov 7 rpo rfjs cfiaXayyos 
ev "crois Siaarrjpacn reray peveov, crvvefiaive 

3 7 nvpeadai tovs rd>v ’I vS&v innovs. ra yap 
eXSeoXa nbppeodev pev opolav etye ttjv npocroyjriv 
toi<! aXijdtvots Orjpiois, oh avvpQeis ovres ol t&v 
’] vS&v ittttoi rePapprjKorois npoalnnevov' TO{? 
S' eyyiaaaiv rj re ocrpr) n poereftaXXev davvrjdijs 
/cal raXXa Sta<j>opav e\ovTa navra nappeyeOr) 
tovi innous oXoaxep&s avverdpaTre. Sio /cal 
t&v ’J vS&v ol pev enl rrjv yrjv enmrov, ol Se 
t&v £wa)v dnetdovvTcov roh xaXivots eos ervyxa- 
vev 1 ei? tovs TToXeplous e^emmov pera t&v 

4 Kopi^ovreov avrovs inneov. 17 Se Hepipapis pera 
arparuoT&v erriXe/creov pa^opivi) /cal t& npo- 
reprjpaTi Selji&s xprjirapevrj rovs 'IvSovs erpe- 
■\Jraro. &v cfivyovrcov 7rpo? rpv epdXayya 2t«- 
fipofidr t)S 6 /3acn\ev<s ov /cararrXayeis enpyaye 
Ta? r&v ne^&v rdtjeis, irporjyovpeveov t&v eXe- 
tyavTeav, avros S’ enl tov Se^tov /ceparos re- 
raypevos ical rrjv pd-ffiv enl tov /cparlcrTov 
Oriplov noiovpevos en/jyaye KaranXtpKTiK&s en l 
rrjv fiaaiXiaoav icar avrov tvxik&s reraypevqv. 

5 to S’ ai/TO kcu t&v aXXeov eXeefrdvTcov noirj- 
aavreov 17 pera ri 7? 'S.epipapiSos Svvapis ftpaxyv 
bneari) xpovov ttjv t&v (hjplcov etpoSov ra yap 
£&a Siarpopa rah dXKah orna koX Tat? ISlais 

BOOK II. 19. 1-5 

19. Semiramis likewise marshalled lier forces, and 
as the two armics neared each other Stabrobates, the 
king of the Indians, despatched his cavalry and chariots 
far in advance of the main body. But the queen 
stoutly withstood the attackofthe cavalry, andsince 
the elephants which she had fabricated had been 
stationed at equal intervals in front of the main body 
of troops, it came about that the horses of the 
Indians shied at them. For whereas at a distance 
the dummies looked like the actual animals with 
which the horses of the Indians were acquainted and 
therefore charged upon them boldly enough, yct on 
nearer contact the odour which reached the horses was 
unfamiliar, and then the other differences, which 
taken all together were very great, threw them into 
utter confusion. Consequently some of the Indians 
were thrown to the ground, while others, since their 
horses would not obey the rein, were carried with 
their mounts pell-mell into the midst of the enemy. 
Then Semiramis, who was in the battle with a select 
band of soldiers, made skilful use of her advantage 
and put the Indians to flight. But although these 
fled towards the battle-line, King Stabrobates, un- 
dismayed, advanced the ranks of his foot-soldiers, 
keeping the elephants in front, while he himself, 
taking his position on the right wing and fighting 
from the most powerful of the beasts, charged in 
terrifying fashion upon the queen, whom chance had 
placed opposite him. And since the rest of the 
elephants followed his example, the army of Semi¬ 
ramis withstood but a short time the attack of the 
beasts; for the animals, by virtue of their extra- 
ordinaiy courage and the confidcnce which they felt 

1 iTuyx-tvtv Vogel: iriiyxavov ABG, Bekker, Pindorf. 



p&pai<; ireiroiOoTa irdvTa r ov v<j>i<TTapevov 

6 pahiav; dvypei. hioirep iroXix; ical iravTow 

eylveTO <f>ovo<;, t&v pev viro tojj? 7roSa? viroiri- 
ITTOVTCOV, T&V Se TOi? ohoVOlV dval^l^Op,€VCOV, 
evitov Se rat? irpofiocnclcnv avappiirTovpevmv\ 
trvxvov Se irXijdov^ ve/cp&v atopevopevov ical tov 
/ civhvvov Tot? op&ai heivbv etcirXTj^iv ical tftofiov 
irapiaTavTo<;, ovhe t? en peveiv eirl ti)? t afet»? 
eroXpa. v 

7 TpairevTO? ovv t ov ttXtjOovs iravTos ofiacuXevs 
t&v 'Ivh&v eV avTT)v eyStd&TO tV ‘2eplpap.iv. 
ical t o pev irp&Tov eir' eicelvtjv To£evcra<; eru^e 
toO fipaxlovos, eireiT aKOVTiaas hirfKaae hia. tov 
v&tov ti)? ftaoiXlaarjs, irXayla<i eve^ettrij? t??? 
irXijyrjs' hioirep ovhev iraQovaa heivov t) 2epi- 
papis ra^eeo? aiplirirevae, iroXv Xeiiropevov Kaid 

8 to ra^o? toO hitbicovTO<; Orjplov. irdvTtov Se 
tpevyovTtov eirl Ti}v a^ehlav, touovtov ttXt)6ov<; 
et? et>a «at oievov fiia%opevov toitov oi pev t fj<> 
/ 3 aaiXler<rr)<; vir aKXrfXtov aireOvrjcncov avp- 
iraiovpevoi ical tfivpopevoi irapa tpvaiv avapi£ 
lirireh Te ical ire£ol, t&v Se ’]i»Swie eiriiceipevcov 
&apo<! eylveio / 3 laio<; eirl Trjs yetpvpas hia tov 
<f>o/ 3 ov, wcrTe iroXXov<; e%to 6 ovpevov<s etj> eicdiepa 
pepT) t 9? ye<pvpa<; epirlirieiv et? tov iroiapov. 

9 1j Se 2 eplpapi<i, eireihr) to irXeiaTOv pepos t&v 
diro t? 5? pdxTjs hiaaco^opevtov hia tov iroTapov 
eTV%e tt}? aacjraXelas, diretcotye toi)? crvvexovTas 
heapov<; t rjv yetpvpav &v Xvdevrtov rj pev o^eSta 
/cutA •7roX.X.a hiaipeOeiaa peprj 1cal avxvow e<f>' 
eavTrfi ex°voa tcov hicoicov tcov I vhtov viro ttj? 
tov pevpaTOS crtpohpoTrjTOS w? ctu^c KaTijvexOv, 

BOOK |t 19. s-9 

in their power, easily destroyed everyone who tried 
to withstand them. Consequently there was a great 
slaughter, which was effected in various ways, some 
being trampled beneath their feet, others ripped up 
by their tusks, and a number tossed into the air by 
their trunks. And since a great multitude of 
corpses lay piled one upon the other and the danger 
aroused terrible constemation and fear in those who 
witnessed the sight, not a man had the courage to 
hold his position any longer. 

Now when the entire multitude turncd in flight the 
king of the Indians pressed his attack upon Semi¬ 
ramis herself. And first he let fly an arrow and struck 
her on the arm, and then with his javelin he pierced 
the back of the queen, but only with a glancing blow; 
and since for this reason Semiramis was not seriously 
injured she rode swiftly away, the pursuing beast 
being much inferior in specd. But since ali were 
fleeing to the pontoon bridge and so great a multitude 
was forcing its way into a single narrow space, some of 
the queen’s soldiers perished by being trampled upon 
by one another and by cavalry and foot-soldiers being 
thrown together in unnatural confusion, and when the 
Indians pressed hard upon them a violent crowding 
took place on the bridge because of their terror, so 
that many were pushed to either side of the bridge 
and feli into the river. As for Semiramis, when the 
largest part of the survivors of the battle had found 
safety by putting the river behind them, she cut the 
fastenings which held the bridge together; and when 
these were loosened the pontoon bridge, having been 
broken apart at many points and bearing great 
numbers of the pursuing Indians, was carried down 
in haphazard fashion by the violence of the current 


Arat TroWovt /te v twv 'IvScov Sie<f>detpe, rp Se 
XepipapiSi ttoXXtjv aa^aXeiav Trapecncevaae, 
KteXvcraaa ttjv t&v •jroXepiaiv eit avTrjv Sia/3aaiv. 

10 pera Se ravO' 6 pev t&v ’lvSa>v /3aaiXevi, Sio- 
arjpi&v ai>T& yevopevcov Arat t&v pdvTeav airo- 
(paivopeveov arjpaiveadai tov irorapov prj Sta- 
fiaivetv, rjaux^av ea%ei', V tepLpapis dXXayrjv 
Tronjaapevrj t&v alxpaX&Tiov eiravrfkOe v ei<; 
BaArr/ja, Suo pepij rrjs Svvapeo)? aTro/3e/3\r)Kvla. 

20. Mera Se riva xpovov ' Jlro N **'* ,ov T °v v ‘°v 
Si euvovxov tivos eTrif3ovXev0eiaa, /cai to trap 
“Appavos Xoyiov dvavewaapevrj, tov eTrifiovXev- 
aavra kclkov ovSev elpydaaro, rouvavriov Se ttjv 
/3aaiXeiav auT& TrapaSovaa Arat toi? virdpxoK 
aKoveiv e/ceivov irpoard^aira, ra^eeo? Tjtfxiviaev 
eaurijv, &>? et? 0eou<t xard tov XPV a P 0V P*Ta- 

2 aTijaopevrj. evioi Se pv0oXoyovvTe<; fyaaiv aurrjv 
yeveodai irepiarepav, Kal iroXXmv opveoiv et? 
ttjv ol/clav KaTaTreTaaQevTbiv pe t iKetveov e/cire- 
TaoOrjvcu- Sio Kal tou? 'Aatrvpiovs ttjv irepi- 
arepav Tipdv t»? 0eov, airadavaii^ovras ttjv 
%epipapiv. auTTj pe v ov v /SaaiXevaaaa t t;? 
’Aata? cnrdar)<! ttXtjv 'lvS&v ereXeurrjae tov 
TTpoeiprjpevov rpoitov, j3id>aaaa pev €ttj egrjKOVTa 
Svo, f3aaiXevaaaa Se Svo 717 ) 0 ? Tot? tctt apaKOvra, 

3 K Trjatas pev ovv o Kt>t'Sto? 7 repi XepipdptSos 
ToiavO’ itTToprjKev ’ Adrjvaios Se Arat Tives t&v 
aX\<u v avyypa<f>ea>v <f>acrlv aiiTrjv eraipav ye- 
yovevai evirpererj, Arat Sta to AraWo? epu>riKU>% 

4 eyeiv avTrj ? tov fiacriXea t5>v 'Aaavpiav . to 

pev ovv 7 rp&rov perplas avTrjv airoSoxv’> 

veiv ev Tot? /S aaiXeiois, pera Se Taura yvrjaiav 

BOOK II. 19. 9-2o. 4 

and caused the death of many of tlie Indians, but for 
Semiramis it was the means of complete safety, the 
enemy now being prevcnted from Crossing over 
against her. After these events the king of the 
Indians remained inactive, since heavenly omens 
appeared to him whicli his seers interpreted to mean 
that he must not cross the river, and Semiramis, 
after exchanging prisoners, made her way back to 
Bactra with the loss of two-thirds of her force. 

20 . Some time later her son Ninyas conspired 
against her through the agcncy of a certain eunucli; 
and remembering the prophecy given her by 
Amnion, 1 she did not punish the conspirator, but, on 
the contrary, after tuming the kingdom over to him 
and commanding the govemors to obey him, she at 
once disappeared, as if she were going to be trans- 
lated to the gods as the Oracle had predicted. Some, 
making a myth of it, say that she turned into a dove 
and flew off in the company of many birds which 
alighted on her dwelling, and this, they say, is the 
rcason why the Assyrians worship the dove as a god, 
thus deifying Semiramis. Be that as it may, this 
woman, after having been queen over all Asia with 
the exception of India, passed away in the manner 
mentioned above, having lived sixty-two ycars and 
having reigned -forty-two. 

Such, then, is the account that Ctesias of Cnidus has 
given about Semiramis ; but Athenaeus 2 and certain 
other historians say that she was a comely courtesan 
and because of her beauty was loved by the king of 
the Assyrians. Now at first she was accorded only 
a moderate acceptance in the palace, but later, when 
1 Cp. chap. 14. 

1 Nothing is known about this Athenaeus. 

Hii -f- 

4 U 


avayopevdelaav yvvaltca ireurat r ov fiaaiXea 
irevO’ ‘fjfitpas avrrj irapax a >PV' jai fiaaiXeias. 

5 rrjv Se Xe/iipapiv avaXaftovcrav ro re OKrjirrpov 
kcu rrjv feacriXeiov aroXrjv /cara p.e v rrjv 
7 rpdsrrjv rjjiepav evwy>lav iroirjaai Kai fieya- 
Xoirpeirrj Sehrva, ev oh tou? rmv Svvd/ieonv 
rjyep.ova<t Kal irdvrat; tovs eiri<f>avetTrdrov<i rrelaai 
avpnrpdrreiv eavrf}• r jj S’ varepaia n ov re 
irXrjOovi Kal r&v d^ioXoywrarmv avSpmv o>? 
fiaatXicraav Oepairevovrwv rov pev avSpa Kara- 
fiaXeiv eh rrjv eipKrrjv, avrrj v Se <j>vcrei jieyaX- 
eirifioXov ovaav Kal roXpvrjpav Karaayew T V V 
apvr/p, kcu p,e%pi yrjpox; fiacriXevaaaav iroXXa 
Kal peyaXa KarepyaaaaQai. irepl fiev ovv rmv 
Kara 1 2 epipajuv r oiavrat dvrCXoyiag elvai 

crvfJifiaivei irapa roh avyypatfreyai. 

21. Me-ra Se rov ravrrjg davarov Nivvav 6 
NtVoti Kal lejupdjuScx; vlos irapaXafiwv rrjv 
apxv v VPX ev ciprjviK&g, ro <j>tXoiroXep,ov Kal 
KeKivSvvevpAvov rrjg /irjrpo<; ovSa/ia><! f rjXwcra< 

2 irp&rov p,ev yctp ev roh ffaaiXeioM; rov airavra 
Xpovov SierpijSev, vir’ ovSevot opd>p,evo<: irXrjv 
rS)v iraXXaKiSmv kcu rmv irepl avrov evvov^arv, 
etjrjXov Se rpv<j>rjv Kal paOvjilav Kal ro jirjSeirore 
KaKoira&etv prjSe pepipvav, viroXap,/3dva>v fiacn- 
Xel a? evSaifiovo<; elvai r e\o? to iraaaK XPV 1 rQai 

3 Tat? r/Sovah dveiriKoXvrax;. irpog Se rrjv acr<f)d- 
Xeiav rrjs dpxtjs Kal rov Kara rasv apxopevwv 

1 Vogel follows D in omitting rr,i/ after Kara. 

1 Thcfollowinglegend contains a referenceto the Babylonian 
Saoaea, which was almost certainly a New Year’s festival. A 

BOOK II. 20. 4-21. 3 

she had been proclaimed a lawful wife, she persuaded 
the king to yield the royal prerogatives to her for a 
period of five days. 1 And Semiramis, upon receiving 
the sceptre and the regal garb, on the first day held 
high festival and gave a magnificent banquet, at 
which she persuaded the commanders of the military 
forces and all the greatest dignitaries to co-operate 
with her; and on the second day, while the people 
and the most notable citizens were paying her their 
respects as queen, she arrested her husband and put 
him in prison; and since she was by nature a woman 
of great designs and bold as well, she seized the throne 
and remaining queen until old age accomplished 
many great things. Such, then, are the conflicting 
accounts which may be found in the historians 
regarding the career of Semiramis. 

21 . After her death Ninyas, the son of Ninus and 
Semiramis, succeeded to the throne and had a 
peaceful reign, since he in no wise emulated his 
mother’s fondness for war and her adventurous 
spirit. For in the first place, he spent all his time 
in the palace, seen by no one but his concubines and 
the eunuchs who attended him, and devoted his life 
to luxury and idleness and the consistent avoidance 
of any sufFering or anxiety, holding the end and aim 
of a happy reign to be the enjoyment of every kind 
of pleasure without restraint.' Moreover, having 
in view the safety of his crown and the fear 

prominent feature of this was the killing of a criminal who had 
been permitted for five days to wear the king’s robes, to sit on 
his throne, to issue decrees, and even to oonsort with his 
concubines, and who, after this brief tenure of office, was 
scouTged and executed. Cp. J. G. Frazer, The Golden Bough, 
Pt. III, The Dying God, pp. 113-17. 



ytpopevop <f> 6 / 3 ov /cbt’ eptavrop pereTTepireTO 
(TTpaTLcoT&P dpidpov wpiapevov Kal aTparyybv 

4 clito edvov ? exdo-Tov, Kal to p.ev e’« ttuptcop 
adpoiaGev arpa-reupa e«To? tj}? TroXews avveixev, 
eKticTTov tS>v e 6 v 5 >p t ov evvovtnajov t&p trepi 
avTov aTToSeiKvvwv rjyepopa' t ov 8 epiavTOV 
SieX 0 oPTO<; peTeirepireTO irdXiP airo t&p 10 vS>v 

T00? ”(701/? (XTjOaTttOTa?, Kal TOU? 7TpOT€pOl/? a7T€- 

C Xvep et? ra? 7raTptSa?. oC avmeXov pepov crvp- 
ifiaive t oo? o7ro tt/p /3aaiXelav Teraypevov<; a-nav- 
ra? 1 KaTaireTrXrj-^Oai, detopovpras dei peyaXas 
8updpei<; ev imaiopo) cn paTOTreSevo pevas Kal Tot? 
aipiaTapepoLS r) prj Treiffapxovcrip hoipr^p ovaav 

6 Tipcopiap. ra? Se /car’ ipiavjop dUaya? t&>o 
<tt paTioyTOip eTreporjaep, ipa irplp rj /ca\w? ypoacr- 
drjpai t oo? crTpaTTjyous Kal too? a\\ou? atrapTa<s 
vi t aXXjjXap, eVacrTo? et? ttjp iSlav Sta%&)ptf/;Tat 
Trarplba- 6 yap ttoXvi %poi/o? t?}? aTpaTeta? 
epveipiap re tu>p Kara top rroXepop Kal <f>popr]pa 
Tot? r/yepoai TreplTtdrjcn,, Kal to irXelcnop dfpoppas 
Trapex eTCLl p-eydXas 7rpo? dirbcnaaip Kai avpco- 

7 poaLap KaTa t 5 >p qyovpepeop. to Se p?;S’ 
ei/o? TWt> e^toOep ffecopelaOat t?J? pet> 7rept aiiTOP 
t pvfp 77? dyvoiap 7rapet%eT0 irdai, KaOd-rrep Se 
deop doparop Sta top tpofiop eKacnoi r ooSe Xoyco 
/ 3 Xacr(f>rjp,elp eroXpa. cnpaT-qyous Se «at crarpa- 
7ra? «at Stot«/jTa?, cti Se St«a<7Ta? «a0’ eKaavop 
edi /o? a7roSetfa? «at TaXXa irapra StaTa^a? a>? 
7r ot* eSo^et/ aoTft) trvptyepeiv, top tov £rjp xpoi/ci» 
Karepecvev ep tt} Ntt/w. 

8 Ilapa7rA.9j(7t&)? Se tovtw Kal ol Xonrol fiaaiXeR, 

1 SiiravTas Vogel: Trdvras Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK II. 2i. 3-8 

he felt with reference to his subjects, he used to 
summon each year a fixed number of soldiers and a 
general from each nation and to keep the army, 
which had been gathered in this way from all his 
subject peoples, outside his capital, appointing as 
commander of each nation one of the most trust- 
worthy men in his Service ; and at the end of the year 
he would summon from his peoples a second equal 
number of soldiers and dismiss the former to their 
countries. The resuit of this device was that all 
those subject to his rule were filled with awe, seeing 
at all times a great host encamped in the opcn and 
punishment ready to fall on any who rebelled or would 
not yield obedience. This annual change of the 
soldiers was devised by him in order that, before 
the generals and all tlie other commanders of the 
army should become well acquainted with each 
other, every man of them would have been separated 
from the rest and have gone back to his own country; 
for long Service in the field both gives the commanders 
experience in the arts of war and filis them with 
arrogance, and, above all, it offers great opportunities 
for rebellion and for plotting against tlieir rulers. 
And the fact that he was seen by no one outside the 
palace made everyone ignorant of the luxury of his 
manner of life, and through their fear of him, as of an 
unseen god, each man dared not show disrespect of 
him even in word. So by appointing generals, 
satraps, finaucial officers, and judges for each nation 
and arranging all other matters as he felt at any time 
to be to his advantage, he remained for his lifetime 
in the city of Ninus. 

The rest of the kings also followed his example, son 



irais irapa irarpo ? StaSexopevot ttjv dpxrfv, eir\ 
yeved<t TptaKovTa ijHaatkevaav ptypi "ZapSava- 
irdWov 67 rl tovtov ydp fj t&v 'Aaavpimv r/ye- 
povia peTeireaev et? Mj?8ot/?, It rj Stapeivaaa 
irXetco twv -%i\ia>v tcal Tptaicoaicov, 1 naOairep 
(frrjal KtT jo-ta? 6 Kt>t8to? ev rfj Sevripa f3l/3\tp. 

22. T<1 8’ bvopara iravTa 2 t&v j3aat\ewv tcctl 
to ir\r}0o<; t&v It&v &v eicaaTot e0aai\evaev 
ov KaTETreiyec ypacpeiv Sia to pijSev vir' av t&v 
ireirpaxOai pvriprjt dgiov. povr/ ydp TeTevyev 
dvaypa^rjt r) 7 repcbdetaa avppayia rot? T pwatv 
vir' 'Aaavpimv, i)? empaTrjyei Mepvmv 6 TiOcovov. 

2 Tet ndpov ydp fiaatk.evovTO? t?}? 'Aaia$, 8? Jjv 
etVocrro? diro Ntvvov tov 'S.ep.ipap.iSos, cfiaal rot»? 
/ter’ 'Ayapepvovos "EWj/m? eirl Tpolav mpaTev- 
<rat, Trjv rjyepoviav ixdvTmv T»}? 'Acria? t&v 
'Aaavpimv £Tr/ irXeim t&v %iX.t<ut\ icat tov pev 
Upiapov ftapvvopevov t& iroXepm icat ftaatXev- 
ovTa tt)? TpcoaSo?, trmjKoov S' ovTa t& fiaatXei 
t&v 'Aaavpimv, irepifrai 7rpo? avTov irpeaftevTds 
irepl fioijdeias' tov Se Tevrapov pvpiovf pev 
AidLoira ?, a\\ou? Se toctovtovs 'Zovatavoix; av v 
appaat Stanoaioit etjairoaTelXai, aTpaTijyov iirt- 

3 icaTaaTqaavTa Mepvova tov Ttdmvov. icat tov 

1 in S’ iffiKov to after rpiaxoa-taiy deleted hy Dindorf: op. 
oh. 28. 8 . 

* ir ivra Vogel: ir avruy F, Bekker, Dindorf. 

1 Namea of kinga of Assyria are now known from as early as 
ca. 2500 B.c. 

* The earliest Greek tradition knew the Ethiopians as “ the 
farthest of men,” who dwelt on the stream Oceanus. Hero- 

BOOK II. 21. 8-22. 3 

succeeding father upon the throne, and reigned for 
thirty generations down to Sardanapallus; for it was 
under this ruler that the Empire of the Assyrians 
feli to the Medes, after it had lasted more than 612 
thirteen hundred years, 1 as Ctesias of Cnidus says in 
his Second Book. 

22. There is no special need of giving all the names 
of the kings and the number of years which each of 
them reigned becausenothing was done by them which 
merits mentioning. For the only event which has 
been recorded is the despatch by the Assyrians to 
the Trojans of an allied force, which was under the 
command of Memnon the son of Tithonus. For 
when Teutamus, they say, was ruler of Asia, being 
the twentieth in succession from Ninyas the son of 
Semiramis, the Greeks made an expedition against ca. 
Troy with Agamemnon, at a time when the Assyrians 1 
had controlled Asia for more than a thousand years. 
And Priam, who was king of the Troad and a vassal 
of the king of the Assyrians, being hard pressed by 
the war, sent an embassy to the king requesting aid; 
and Teutamus despatched ten thousand Ethiopians 
and a like number of the men of Susiana along with 
two hundred chariots, having appointed as gencral 
Memnon the son of Tithonus. 2 Now Tithonus, who 

dotus (7. 70) speaks of “ the Ethiopians of the East,” prohahly 
meaning the Assyrians. Flato (Laws 680 o) also mentions 
help sent to Priam hy the Assyrians. The account here has 
more of the appearance of genuine history than that in Book 
4. 75, where Diodorus reverts to mythology in presenting 
Tithonus as the son of Laomedon and hrother of Priam, and 
having him travel to the east “ as far as Ethiopia,” where he 
begot Memnon by Dawn. When tradition began to place the 
Homerio Ethiopians in Libya, Memnon came to be associated 
with Thebes in Egypt. 



pev T lOoivov, KdT i/ceivovs tov 1 ; xpbvov; T % 
IlepcrtSo? ovra arpari^yov, evho/cip,eiv irapa tw 
/S acrtXet p.dXiara t&v /cadeaTapivcov iirdpx^v, 
tov he M ipvova ttjv r)\i/dav a/cpa^ovTa hiatj>epeiv 
avhpeia re /cai '/'■v^r}? XapirpoTrjTt. ol/cohopTjaai 
S’ avTov iirl t»;? a«pa? ra iv 2ov<rot? fiaaiXeia 
ra hiapeivavTa pexpi t-i}? Ilepo-wi' rjyepovia;, 
K\r}6evra S’ a7r’ i/ceivov M epvoveia- /caTaa/eevdaai 
Se «at Sta t/;? ^mpa? \ew<f>6pov oSov ttjv pexpi 

4 twv vvv xP°v(ov 6vop.a£op,evT)v Mepvovetav. dp,- 
(fuafiTjTovat Se «at ot 7rept t ») i / AiyvTTTov Al6ioire<i, 
XeyovTe; iv i/ceivov; Tot? To7rot? yeyovevai tov 
avhpa tovtov, «at ySacrtXeta iraXaia heucvvovaiv, 
a p^xpi tov vvv ovopa^eadai <f>aai Mepvoveta. 

6 ov p^v aXXa rot? Tptucrt XeyeTcu ftoTjdijaai tov 
M epvova p,€Ta hia pvpLwv pev ire^&v, dppaTuv Se 
hiaKoaiwv' bv davpaadrjvai re St’ avhpeiav «at 
7roXXov? aveXeiv iv Tat? pd^at? twv 'EXXpVwt», 
to Se TeXevTalov viro @6T raXmv ivehpev&evTa 
/caTaa<f>ayr)var tov Se atuparo? tov? Al6ioira<; 
iy/cpaTeh yevopevov; naTatcavaai Te tov ve/cpov 
«at tci oaad 7rpo? Tt#®vov UTTOKopXaai. irepi 
pev ovv Mepvovo? ToiavT iv Tai? /9acrtXt«at? 
dvaypa^aK laTopeiaOai tpaaiv oi ftdpftapoi. 

23. 2apSava7raXXo? Se, Tpia/coaTO<; pev wv 
a7ro Ntvov tov avaTtjaapevov ttjv rjyep-ovlav, 
eo-^aTo? Se 7evopevo? ’A aavpimv ftaaiXev;, vireprj- 
pev airavTWi tov ? 7rpo avTov Tpvtfijj «at paOvpia. 
^wpt? 7ap tov p^S’ v<£’ evo? t®v egtodev opaadcu 
fiiov e&ae yvvauco;, «at hianti p.evo; pev peTa 

1 The following account of the dissolute Sardanapallus is not 
bome out by the documents, nor indeed by Diodorus himself 

BOOK II. 22. 3-23. x 

was at that time general of Persis, was tlic most 
highly esteemed of the governors at the kings court, 
and Memnon, who was in the bloom of manhood, 
was distinguished both for his bravery and for his 
nobility of spirit. He also built the palace in the 
upper city of Susa which stood until the time of the 
Persian Empire and was called after him Memnonian; 
moreover, he constructed through the country a 
public highway which bears the name Memnonian 
to this time. But the Ethiopians who border upon 
Egypt dispute this, maintaining that this man was 
a native of their country, and they point out an 
ancient palace which to this day, they say, bears the 
name Memnonian. At any rate, the account runs that 
Memnon went to the aid of the Trojans with twenty 
thousand foot-soldiers and two hundred chariots; 
and he was admired for his bravery and slew many 
Greeks in the fighting, but was finally ambushed 
by the Thessalians and slain; whereupon the 
Ethiopians recovered his body, bumed the corpse, 
and took the bones back to Tithonus. Such is the 
account conceming Memnon that is given in the 
royal records, according to what the barbarians 

23. Sardanapallus, the thirtieth in succession from 
Ninus, who founded the empire, and the last king of 
the Assyrians,outdid all his predccessors in luxury and 
sluggishness. 1 For not to mention the fact that he 
was not seen by any man residing outside the palace, 
he lived the life of a woman, and spending his days 

(cp. chaps. 25 ff.). Sin-shar-ishkun, the last king of Assyria, 
was a worthy descendant of his vigorous predecessors on the 
Assyrian throne, and defended a dying empire with energy. 
Cp. The Cambridge Ancient History, 3. pp. 128 ff., 296 f. 



tcov 7r aXXaxiScov, Tropcpvpav Se xal ra paXaxco- 
rara tcov epico v TaXaaiovpyebv , aToXr/v pev 
yvvaixeiav eveSeSvxei, to Se irpoacoirov xal trdv 
r o acopa ijnpvdiois xal tois aXXois to«< r tcov 
eratpcov eTrnrjSevpaaiv airaXcoTepov irdatjs yv- 

2 vacxos Tpvfyepas xaieaxevaaio. eirerrjSevae Se 
xal Tt)v cfrcovyv exetv yvvaixebSr) xal xara tov ? 
7 totovs ov pbvov ttotcov xal fipcoT&v tcov Svva- 
pevcov paXiara ra? r)Sovas irapexeadai avvex&s 
airoXaveiv, aXXa xal ra? d<f>poSiaiaxd<s repifrea 
peraSicoxeiv avSpos apa xal yvvaixos' 6%/3 ^to 
yap ral<} eV’ dpcfrorepa avvovalats aveS-rjv, tjJ? 
ex TT)? irpd^ecos alaxvvqs ovSev oXcos <ppovri^cov. 

3 67rt Toaovro Se irpojxP*) Tpvcfirjs xal tt)? alaxiaTtjs 
rjSovrjs xal dxpaaia<s cbar’ emxrjSecov eis ainbv 
Troirjaai xal irapayyetXai rot? SiaSoxoiS tt}? 
dpxvs pera ttjv eavTov TeXevTrjv eirl tov Tcicftov 
emypdtyai to avyypacf>ev pev vir’ exeivov /3ap/3apt- 
xois, pedepprjvevdev Se vaTepov viro tivos" EXXijvos, 

ev elScbs oti dvijTOS e<f>v<s, aov dvpov aege 1 

Tepvopevos BaXiyai’ BavovTi aoi ovtis ovrjais. 

xal yap iycb airoSos elpi, N ivov peydXrjs 

TavT" exeo oaa’ ecf>ayov xal ecf>v/3piaa xal peT 

Tepirv eiradov, ra Se iroXXa xal oXfiia xeiva 
XeXenrTai. 2 

alaxpebs xaTeaTpeijre tov fiiov, dXXa xal tt)v 

1 Se£<= Tzetzes, Chiliadt .«, III. 453, who preserves the first 
tliree linea of the poetry : 5c|ai A U, Sfl(ai B. 


BOOK II. 23. 1-4 

in the company of his concubines and spinning 
purple garments and working the softest of wool, he 
had assumed the feminine garb and so covered his face 
and indeed his entire body with whitening cosmeties 
and the other unguents used by courtesans, that he 
rendered it more delicate than that of any luxury- 
loving woman. He also took care to make even his 
voice to be likea woman’s,and at his carousals not only 
to indulge rcgularly in those drinks and viands which 
could offer the greatest pleasure, but also to pursue 
the delights of love with men as well as with women ; 
for he practised sexual indulgence of both kinds 
without restraint, showing not the least concem for 
the disgrace attending such conduct. To such an 
excess did he go of luxury and of the most shameless 
sensual pleasure and intemperance, that he composed 
a funeral dirge for himself and commanded his suc- 
cessors upon the throne to inscribe it upon his tomb 
after his death; it was composed by him in a foreign 
language but was afterwards translated by a Greek 
as follows: 

Knowing full well that thou wert mortal bom, 
Thy heart lift up, take thy delight in feasts; 
When dead no pleasure more is thine. Thus I, 
Who once o’er mighty Ninus ruled, am naught 
But dust. Yet these are mine which gave me joy 
In life—the food I ate, my wantonness, 

And love’s delights. But all those other things 
Men deem felicities are left behind. 

Because he was a man of this character, not only did 
he end his own life in a disgraceful manner, but he 

* KeKvp toi in Athenaeus 336a. 



'Aaavpiatv ijyepoviav apSrjv averpe^re, iroXv- 
XpoviMrarrjv yevopevrjv r&v pvqpovevopevwv. 

24 . 'Ap^d/crjs ydp ns, MijSos pev r 0 yei>os, 
av8pela 8e «ai 'jrv^rjs XapTrporrjn Siacftepwv, 
earparrjyei MqSeov r&v tcar iviavrov eKirepnro- 
pevatv eis rrjv Ni ',vov. /cara Se arparelav 
yevopevos avvr)Qr\s r& arpar-r}y& r&v Bafiv- 
Xcovlwv, in t ixelvov rrapeicXrflri /caraXvaai rrjv 

2 r&v ‘Aaavpiwv rjyepovlav. r\v S’ ovtos ovopa 

pev BeXeaii?, r&v 8’ lepeatv iviarjporaros, ovs 
Ba/ 3 vX&vioi tcaXovui XaXSalovs. ipveiplav ovv 
%X a>v peylarrjv darpoXoytas re tcai pavriKrjs 
npoeXeye rois woXXois r 0 drro^rjaopevov aSia- 
nr&reos' 816 kcli dav pa^opevos eVl rovrois t& 
arparrjy& t&v ovrt <f>iX<p irpoelirev ori 

rvdvrms avrov Sei fiaaiXevaai irdarjs rrjs ya>pas 

3 rj<; apxei lapSavairaXXos- 6 8' 'ApftaKrjs enrai- 
veaas rov av8pa, rovra) pev err-qyyetXaro S&aeiv 
aarparreiav rrjs BafivXwvlas, rrjs irpd^ears eVt 
reXos iXdovcnjs, aiiros Se /cadarrepei rivos ffeov 
(jreovfj pereatpiudels rols re rjyepoui r&v aXXarv 
eOv&v avvluraro /cai npos rds eunda eis tca\ 
Koivas opiXias e/crev&s diravras nrapeXdp/3ave, 

4 cpiXiav KaraaKevd £a)v 1 irpos etcaorov. itjnXon- 
prfir) Se kcu rov (3aaiXea Kar o^nv I8elv tcai 
rov Tovrov {SLov oXov Karaune^rauOai. Sioirep 
8ovs rivi r&v evvovxcvv xpuarjv (pidXrjv elutj^drj 

1 KCLTaoKevdfav Gemislus : tytcaTacrueviifav. 


BOOK II. 23. 4-24. 4 

caused the total destruction of the Assyrian Empire, 
wliich had endured longer than any other known to 

24. The facts are these: 1 A certain Arbaces, a 
Mede by race, and conspicuous for his bravery and 
nobility of spirit, was the general of the contingent 
of Medes which was sent each year to Ninus. And 
having made the acquaintance during this Service of 
the general of the Babylonians, he was urged by 
him to overthrow the empire of the Assyrians. 
Now this man’s name was Belesys, and he was the 
most distinguished of those priests whom the 
Babylonians call Chaldaeans. And since as a con- 
sequence he had the fullest experience of astrology 
and divination, he was wont to foretell the future 
unerringly to the peoplc in general; therefore, being 
greatly admired for this gift, he also predicted to 
the general of the Medes, who was his friend, that it 
was certainly fated for him to be king over all the 
territory which was then held by Sardanapallus. 
Arbaces, commending the man, promised to give him 
the satrapy of Babylonia when the affair should be 
consummated, and for his part, like a man elated by a 
message from some god, both entered into a league 
with the commandcrs of the other nations and 
assiduously invited them all to banquets and social 
gatherings, establishing thereby a friendship with 
each of them. He was resolved also to see the king 
face to face and to observe his whole manner of life. 
Consequcntly he gave one of the eunuchs a golden 

1 The kemel of truth in the account which follows lies in the 
fact that Nineveh feli before tho combined attacks of the 
Median Cyaxares and the Chaldaean Nabopolassar. 



irpo<i tov Xa^SavaTraXXov, icat rrjv re Tpvtprjv 
avroC icat tov yvvat/c&St] t&v entTTjSevpaTCOv 
KfjXov atcpt/3&<: rcaTavojjaa? /carecfipovTjae pev tov 
fiaaiXea><} &>? ovSevo<s a£tov, Trpo^x^V Se iroXv 
fiaXXov dvTexeaOat t&v SoOeia&v eXiriScov viro 

6 tov XaXSaiov. reXo? Se avvcopoatav eirotqcraTO 
irpos tov BeXetrvv, &aTe ainov pev MjjSou? 
airoaTrjaat ical Hep<ra<s, eiceivov Se iretaat Baf3v- 
Xcoviov; KOivmvrjaat tj}? Trpageax; icat tov tcov 
'Apaficov rjyepova cjilXov ovTa irpoaXafieadat 
7rpo? tt]v t&v oXcov entBeaiv. 

6 'fi? S’ 6 evtavato ? {rrpareta? SieXrjXvBet 

Xpovos, StaSoxV? S’ erepa? eX6ovcn]<; direXvdrjaav 
oi irpoTepot icaTa to e6o<} et? ra? iraTptSa<s, 
evTavOa 6 'Apf3aicr)<} eiretae tov<} pev MjjSok? 
entOeaffat tt} fiaatXeta, Ilepcra? S’ 67r’ iXevSepta 
KOivcovrjaat tt}? avvcopotria<;. 1 TrapairXijatm Se 
icat 6 BeXetru? to u ? re Ba/3vA(ovtov<; eiretaev 
avTexeadat tj )? eXev6epia<{, tca\ irpea^evaa<i ei? 
'Apafitav TrapeaTrjcraTO tov rjyovpevov t&v 
eyxcoptcov, ovTa cjiiXov avTov ical tjevov, peraax^tv 

7 tj}? eirtOeaem. tov S' evtavaiov XP° V0V SieX- 

doVTO<! 77-ttfTe? OUTOt 7 tXt]8o<! CTTpaTUDT&V GVV- 
ayayovTe<; r/tcov TravSrjpel 7rpo? r^t> N tvo v, t& 
pev Xoyco StaSoxyv ayovTK, a>? rjv ffwijfe, rp 
S’ aXrjOeta KaraXvcrovTes ttjv t&v 'Atravpicov 

8 yyepovtav. dOpotaOevTCOv ovv t&v tt poetpi]pkvmv 
TeTTapcov e8v&v ei? eva tottov, 6 ptev avp.Tra<! 
av t&v api6p,b<! inrrjpxev ei? TeTTapa/covTa p,v- 

1 <rvva>fioalas Dindorf : fpye/jtovlas* 


Cp. chap. 21. 

BOOK II. 24. 4-8 

bowl as a present and gained admittance to Sardana¬ 
pallus ; and when he had observed at close hand both 
his luxuriousness and his love of effeminate pursuits 
and practices, he despised the king as worthy of no 
consideration and was led all the more to cling to the 
hopes which had becn hcld out to him by the Chal- 
daean. And the conclusion of the matter was that he 
formed a conspiracy with Belesys, whereby he should 
himself move the Medes and Persians to revolt while 
the latter should persuade the Babylonians to join the 
undertaking and should secure the help of the com- 
mander of the Arabs, who was his friend, for the 
attempt to secure the supreme control. 

When the year’s time of their Service in the kings 
army 1 had passed and, anotlier force having arrived 
to replace them, the relieved men had been dis- 
missed as usual to their homes, thereupon Arbaces 
persuaded the Medes to attack the Assyrian kingdom 
and the Persians to join in the conspiracy, on the 
condition of receiving their freedom. 2 Belesys too 
in similar fashion both persuaded the Babylonians 
to strike for their freedom, and sending an embassy 
to Arabia, won over the commander of the people 
of that country, a friend of his who exchanged 
hospitality with him, to join in the attack. And 
after a years time all these leaders gathered a multi- 
tude of soldiers and came with all their forces to 
Ninus, ostensibly bringing up replaccments, as was 
the custom, but in fact with the intention of destroy- 
ing the empire of the Assyrians. Now when these 
four nations had gathered into one place the whole 
number of them amounted to four hundred thousand 

* i.e. from the Assyrians. 



ptdSas, eis filav Se 7r apepftoXrjv avve\0ovTes 
ifiouXevovro /coivfj vepl tov crvp^epovros. 

25. XapSavaTraXXos Se yvovs Ttjv diroaratxiv 
ev0vs etjijyayev eV’ axnovs tcls diro t&v dXX mv 
e0v&v Svvapets. /cal ro pev irp&Tov yevopevps ev 
t& ireSiw vapard^ea/s e\el(f>0>]<rav oi Trjv airb- 
tTTatriv TTOtrjadpevoi, /eat iroWovs dwofiaXovTes 
avveStcb^drjcrav eis opos direypov tt}s Nivov 

2 araStovs e/3Sopt]/covTa % p,era Se ravra irdXtv 
/caTaftavTtov avT&v eis to ireSLov /cal n pos 
pMXnv Trapaa/ceva&pevwv, 6 pev ZapSavdvaXXos 
dvTirdtjas rtjv IStav arpartav irpoaneareiXe 
Trpos TO T&V TroXeptlCOV <TTpaTOTTeSov TOVS KTfpv- 
£ovras StoTi XapSavdiraWos tois pev aveXovaiv 
’A pftd/crjv Tov MrjSov S&cret %pvcriov Sta/cocria 
TaXavra, tois Se %&vTa tt apaSovoi Xpr)p.aTa 
p.ev Stop/jaeTat Sis roaavra, Trjs Se M t]Sias 

3 virap^ov 1 /caTaaTrjcet. TrapairXrjalms 2 S’ iirrjy- 
yetXaTO Scoaetv Scopeas tols BeXecrw tov Bafiv- 
Xaviov aveXovcriv rj £a)ypi)<ra<riv. ovSevos Se 
irpoae)(OVTOs tois /crjpvypaai, avvr)\j/e pdyrrjv, 
/eat iroWovs pev ecj^ovevcre t&v dnooTaT&v, to 
S’ aXXo v\fj0os avveSimtjev eis ttjv ev tois opetrt 

4 Ot Se irepl tov 'Ap/3d/cr)v Sta ras yrras 
dOvptovvTes trvvijyayov t&v (fciXcov avveSptov /eat 

6 irpoeOtj/cav /3ov\pv tl Seoi irpaTTetv. oi nfkei- 
cttoi pev ovv eipaaav Setv eis tcis irarplSas 
dmevat /eat tottovs 6-^vpovs /caTa\ap,f3avecr0ai 
/cal t&v aWcov t&v eis tov iroXeptov xprjaipcov 

1 virapxov Vogel: ?ir apxov Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 


BOOK II. 24. 8-25. 5 

men, and when they had assembled inio one camp 
they took counsel together concerning the best plan 
to pursue. 

25. As for Sardanapallus, so soon as he became 
aware of the revolt, he led forth against the rebels 
the contingents which had come from the rest of 
the nations. And at first, when battle was joined 
on the plain, those wlio were making the revolt were 
defeated, and after heavy losses were pursued to a 
mountain which was seventy stades distant from 
Ninus; but afterwards, when they came down again 
into the plain and were preparing for battle, Sardana¬ 
pallus marshalled his army against them and des- 
patehed heralds to the camp of the enemy to make 
this proclamation: “ Sardanapallus will give two 
hundred talents of gold to anyone who slays Arbaces 
the Mede, and will make a present of twice that 
amount to anyone who delivers him up alive and will 
also appoint him govemor over Media.” Likewise he 
promised to reward any who would either slay 
Belesys the Babylonian or take him alive. But 
since no man paid any attention to the proclamation, 
he joined battle, slcw many of the rebels, and 
pursued the remainder of the multitude into their 
encampment in the mountains. 

Arbaces, having lost heart because of these defeats, 
now convened a meeting of his friends and called 
upon them to consider what should be done. Now 
the majority said that they should retire to their 
respecti ve countries, seize strong positions, and so far 
as possible prepare there whatever else would be 

1 For vapairKritrtus Gemistus, followed by Bekker and 
Dindorf, conjectured *apair\rialas. 



t rjv evSexop-evrjv Trapaa/cevrjv iroieladar BeXetrv? 
S’ 6 Ba$vXcovio<:, cf/Tjaas tov? 0eov<; ainoit 
crrjpalveiv pera irdvcov /cai /ca/cotradela^ enl 
tcXo? ageiv ttjv irpoalpecriv, /cai TaXXa irapa/ca- 
Xeaat evSexopevcos, eireiaev airavTa<s viropeveov 
6 t ov? /civSvvov<;. yevopevrjt; ovv Tp'nrj<; irapa- 
ra^eto? 6 fiaaiXeiv; eviKrjcre, /cai tj}? re 
irapep^oXfj^ tcov airomaTcov e/cvptevae /cai tov? 
t)tttj0€vt o? eSlco^e p-expi tcov opcov tj?? Bo/SuXq)- 
viav crvvefir) Se /cai t ov 'ApfSd/crjv avTov Xap,- 
TrpoTaTa KLvSvvevaavTa /cai iroXXovs dveXovra 
1 tSsv 'Aaavpicov yeveaOai TpavpaTiav. ttjXikov- 
t (ov 8’ eXaTToopLCLTCov /cara to avvexe<; yivo- 
pevcov toi? a<f>e(TTT]/c6<Tiv, ol to? rjyepLOvia<s 
exovTe<; dire\TTLa-avTe<; irepl t»}? vi/ctj<: irap- 
ecr/cevdfyvTO Siaxcopl^ecrdai Trpo? tov? ol/ceLov^ 
8 e/camoi tottoi/?. 6 Se BeXea-v? iv viralOpcp ttjv 
vv/cra SirjypwTrvrj/ccbs /cai irepl ttjv tcov ampcov 
irapaTijprjaiv cf>iXoTiu.T)0et<;, ec^rjae TOt? dmjXiri- 
kocti to irpdypaTa, av irevff rjjiepa<; avapeLvcoaiv, 
avTopaTTjv fjl;eiv j3orj0eiav /cai jieTajUoXrjv eaeaQai 
tcov oXcov irappeye0rj et? t ovvavTiov’ tuvto yap 
opav Sia t?}? tcov ampcov ejnreipia ? irpoappai- 
vavva<s avTOt? tov? 0eov<;. /cai irape/caXei toi5to? 
to? rjjiepa<: p,eivavTa<; irecpav Xafietv ttj<; lSia<s 
Te^Mj? «at t% tcov 0ecov evepyecrLa<s. 

26. MeTa/cXt] 0 evTiov ovv ttovtcov irdXiv /cai 
tov dopicr/ievov XP° V0 v dvapceivdvTiov, rj/ce t t? 
cnrayyeXAcov Sion Svvajiv; e/c tj?? Ba/CTpiavfjs 
airemaXjievrj tu> fiaaiXel ttXtjctLov emi iropevo- 
2 fievi) /coto OTrovSijv. eSogev ovv t ot? irepi tov 
Ap/ 3 d/crjv diramtjcjai t ot? mpaTrjyois ttjv 


BOOK II. 25. 5-26. 2 

useful for the war; but Belesys the Babylonian, by 
maintaining that the gods were promising them by 
signs that with labours and hardship they would bring 
their enterprise to a successful end, and encouraging 
them in every other way as much as he could, per- 
suaded them all to remain to face further perils. So 
there was a third battle, and again the king was 
victorious, captured the camp of the rebels, and 
pursued the defeated foe as far as the boundaries of 
Babylonia; and it also happened that Arbaces 
himself, who had fought most brilliantly and had 
slain many Assyrians, was wounded. And now that 
the rebels had suffered defeats so decisive following 
one upon the other, their commanders, abandoning 
all hope of Victory, were preparing to disperse each 
to his own country. But Belesys, who had passed a 
sleepless night in the open and had devoted himself 
to the observation of the stars, said to those who had 
lost hope in their cause, “ If you will wait five days 
help will come of its own accord, and there will bc a 
mighty change to the opposite in the whole situation; 
for from my long study of the stars I see the gods 
foretelling this to us.” And he appealed to them to 
wait that many days and test his own sicili and the 
good will of the gods. 

26. So after they had all been called back and had 
waited the stipulated time, there came a messenger 
with the news that a force which had been despatched 
from Bactriana to the king was near at hand, advan- 
cing with all speed. Arbaces, accordingly, decided to 
go to meet their generals by the shortest route, 


t axi & ttjp apaXa/SoPTas t&p oTpaTUOT&v roii<! 
KpaTitTTOWi xal pdXi<TT ev£&Pov<;, oirax;, av prj 
8ia t&p Xoyarp toi)? GaxTpiapovs 8 vpwi nai weitrai 
avpairoaTTjpai, t ot? 07r\ot? ftidaaiPTac peTa- 

3 &X £ lp T & v ai)T&p eXiriSeop. reXov 8e 1 Trpbs ttjp 
eXevdepiap aapepm VTraxovadpTcop to pep np&- 
top t5>p rjyepopcop, eireiTa xal t rj<; oXtj<; ovpdpeaa;, 
iraPTes ip jaintp xaTetTTpaToire8evaap. 

4 “Ot£ 8tj avpefiij top (3aoiXea t&p 'Aaavpiasp 
ttjp pep aTToaraaip tS>p Y^axTpiap&p dypoovpra, 
t at? 8e rrpoyeyepr)p,epcu<; eiiTjpepiai<! peTeeopia- 
depra, Tpanf/pat 7 rpo? apeaip, xal t ot? arpenicb- 
Tat? 8ia8ovpai wpm eva>xtap lepeia xal i r\i?0o? 
oipov Te xal t&p aXXrop emTTjSeiatP. Siovep t 77? 
hvpdpeaxi airatrij^ e<TTia>pePTj<:, oi irepi top 
A p/3dxr]p irapd tipoip avTopoXcop irvdopepoi ttjp 

ip ttj napepfioXjj t&p iroXepimp pq.6vp.iap xal 
pedrjp, pvxt o? dirpoaboxrjTw<i ttjp eirideaip eiroiT)- 

5 aaPTO. irpooireaoPTes Se ovPTeTaypipoi pep 
davPTaxTOK, eTOipoi 8’ dnapaaxevoi ?, ttjs ie 
irapep0o\Tj<! expaTijaap xal t&p aTpaTKOT&p 
TroWoii? dpe\opTe<! to i)? aXXov<; pexpi ttj<; tto- 

6 Xetu? xaTe8iai^ap. peTa Se raOra 6 pep /3aaiXev<: 
TaXaipeprjp top d8eX<f>op tt)? yvpaixo ? dwoSeiljas 
crTpaTTjyop, avTos t&p xaTa ttjp ttoXip ewipe- 
Xeiap eVotetTO' oi 8’ airoaTaTai xaTa to ire8iop 
to irpb TTj<t 7ro\etu? irapaTa^apepoi 8vcrl paxais 
iplxTjaap t ovi 'Aaavpiovs, xal top Te Ta\at- 
peptjp dpeiXop xal t&p aPTiTai-apepup tovv pep 
ep ttj <j>vyTj xaTea<f>a^ap, tou? 8’ dTroxXeia6ePTa<i 
Trj<i et? ttjp ttoXip eirapoSov xal avpapayxa- 
o6epra<i eaVToii<s pnneip el<s top JLvtfrpdTrjp 

BOOK II. 26. 2-6 

taking along the best and most agile of his troops, 
so that, in case they should be unable to persuade 
the Bactrians by arguments to join in the revolt, they 
might resort to arms to force them to share with them 
in the same hopes. But the outcome was that the 
new-comers gladly listened to the call to freedom, 
first the commanders and then the entire force, and 
they all encamped in the same place. 

It happened at this very time that the king of the 
Assyrians, wlio was unaware of the defection of the 
Bactrians and had become elated over his past 
successes, turned to indulgence and divided among 
his soldiers for a feast animals and great quantities 
of both wine and all other provisions. Consequently, 
since the whole army was carousing, Arbaces, leaming 
from some deserters of the relaxation and drunken- 
ness in the camp of the enemy, made his attack upon 
it unexpectedly in the night. And as it was an as- 
sault of organized men upon disorganized and of 
ready men upon unprepared, they won possession of 
the camp, and after slaying many of the soldiers 
pursued the rest of them as far as the city. After 
this the king named for the chief command Galae- 
menes, his wife’s brother, and gave his own attention 
to the affairs within the city. But the rebels, drawing 
up their forces in the plain before the city, overcame 
the Assyrians in two battles, and they not only slew 
Galaemenes, but of the opposing forces they cut 
down some in their flight, while others, who had been 
shut out from entering the city and forced to leap into 

1 For re\os Se Vogel proposes tovtuv Se or Sn/, unless, as 
he suggesta, there is a large lacuua. 



7 TTOjafJLOv ttXtjv oXtymv atravTa<s aveiXov. tooovto 

Sb 9 r)v t&v <povev 8 evrtov &<rre to <pepo- 

pevov pevpta Kpadev ai/irnt ttjv XP° av *</> ixavov 
tottov p£Ta/ 3 aXe 2 v. etrena tov {SaatXea? avy- 
KXeurOevTO'; eis tt oXtoptciav iroXXa t&v edv&v 
atpicnaTO, e/cacTov 777309 ttjv eXevdeplav ainopo- 

8 'O Se "ZapSavdnaXXo 9 op&v ttjv oXtjv fiaai- 
Xeiav iv TOt9 p,eyi(noi<s ovaav kivSvvoi<s, tov<s 
p.ev vloi)<! Tpel<s ovras /eat dvyarepa^; Svo pxrd 
voXX&v Xpr)p.dT<ov et’9 YlacpXayovtav airetneiXe 
717J09 Kottclv tov eirapxov, ovTa t&v apxofievwv 
evvovoTCLTOv, avTO<: Se / 3 t/ 3 Xta<p 6 pov<; dtroaTeLXa<s 
717009 atravTat TO09 vtt avrov TCTaypevovs /te t- 
eTreperrero SvvajjteK /eat Ta 717309 ttjv iroXiop/ciav 

9 irapeaKeva^eTO. rjv S’ av t$ Xoyiov irapaSeSo- 
p-evov eic irpoyovwv oti ttjv Nlvov ovSei 9 eXet 
/eaTa /e/)aT09. eav p,rj npoTepov 6 7TOTa/to9 t t) 
TToXei yevrjTai iroXipuos. VTroXap./3dv(ov ovv tov- 
to pyjSeiroTe eaeadcu, Tai 9 eXtriaiv aj/ret%e, 
Stavoovp.evo<s inropevecv ttjv noXiop/eiav /eat t a 
iraph t&v vTTOTeraypevuv 1 d-noaTaXTjaop.eva 
(TTpaTOTreSa tt poaSexeaOai? 

27. O t 8’ a7roaTaTat Tot9 ivpoTeprjpaaiv eirap- 
0 evTe<! irpocreiceivTo p.ev tt) troXiop/cia, Sid Se ttjv 
oxvpoTTjTa t&v Teix&v ovSev rjSvvavTO / 3 Xd(jrai 
tov 9 eV tt) TroXei • ireTpofioXot yap rj ^eXeoi/at 
XdxrTpiSei f) fcptot irpo 9 dvmpoiTTjv peptjxavij- 
ptevot Teix&v oiveo Ka t’ e/eetj/01/9 TO09 Katpov<s 

1 forarer aynivuv Vogel: iitipx uv ABD, Bekker, Diadorf. 

* TrpotrZtx (t T® at Vogel: TrpoceZfx €TO Vulgate, Bekker, Dia¬ 


BOOK II. 26. 6-27. 1 

the Euphrates river, they destroyed almost to a man. 
So great was the multitude of the slain that the water 
of the stream, mingled with the blood, was changed in 
colour over a considerable distance. Furthermore, 
now that the king was shut up in the city and be- 
sieged there, many of the nations revolted, going 
over in each case to the side of liberty. 

Sardanapallus, realizing that his entire kingdom 
was in the greatest danger, sent his three sons and 
two daughters together with much of his treasure to 
Paphlagonia to the govemor Cotta, who was the most 
loyal of his subjects, while he himself, despatching 
lctter-carriers to all his subjects, summoned forces 
and made preparations for the siege. Now there was a 
prophecy which had come down to him from his 
ancestors : “ No enemy will ever take Ninus by storm 
unless the river shall first become the city’s enemy.” 
Assuming, therefore, that this would never be, he 
held out in hope, his thought being to endure the 
siege and await the troops which would be sent from 
his subjects. 

27. The rebels, elated at their successes, pressed 
the siege, but because of the strength of the walls they 
were unable to do any harm to the men in the city; 
for neither engines for throwing stones, nor shelters 
tor sappers, 1 nor battering-rams devised to overthrow 
walls had as yet been invented at that time. More- 

1 The xe.\u)j'ai (“ tortoises ”; cp. the Roman testudo) 
XuarplSes were strong moveable sheds or roofs, under whose 
protection sappers and miners could work. In Book 20. 91. 8 
they are contrasted with sheds which carried battering-rams 
(Xf\umi Kpuxpipoi). 



evprjvro. twv 8’ emTrjSeiwv atrdvTwv oi /cara 
ttjv ttoXlv iroXXrjv eix ov SayjriXeiav, trpovevor)- 
pevov tov /3a<riXew<; tovtov tov pepov?. Sio Kal 
Xpovt£ov<rr)<; tt)? 7 roXioptctas eir errj pev 8vo 
irpoaeKeivTO irpocrfioXas noiovpevoi to«? Tergeat 
Kal T?/? 67 U TT)V X°*P aV e!;6&OV TOU? 6K T7J? 7ToX.6(B? 
eipyovTet' tw TpiTW 8’ erei crvvex w? opfipwv 
peydXwv Karappayevrwv <rvve/3t] tov E v^pdrrjv 
peyav yevopevov KaTctKXvcrai re pepos ttj? 7ro- 
Xea >? Kal KarafiaXetv to T6t%o? eirl cnaSiov^ 

2 elKoaiv. evravOa 6 /8a<rt\ei»? vopiaas rere- 
XecrOat tov XPV&P-ov Kal t rj iroXet tov irOTapov 
yeyovevat cf>avepw<; iroXepiov, dtreyvw ttjv <twtt]- 
pLav. iva Se prj TOt? iroXepiois vnoxeipto ? 
yevrjTai, irvpav ev t olt fiaaiXeiovi /eaTea/ce vaaev 
vnreppeyedrj, Kal tov tb XP V<T ° V Kal T ° v apyvpov 
airavTa, 7 rpot Se Toinoit ti)v ffacrtXiKtjv iadijTa 
iraaav eirl ravnjv eawpevcre, t at Se -iraXXaKlhai 
Kal tov<; evvovx°v<i avyKXeiaat et? tov ev pecry 
Trj nrvpa KaTeaKevaapevov oikov apa tovtok 
arrramv eavTov Te Kal Ta fiatriXeia KareKavaev. 

3 oi 8’ aTroaTaTat irvdopevot ttjv atTwXetav ttjv 
H ap&avaTrdXXov, t rp pev TroXews eKpaTtjaav 
elcnreaovTes KaTa to 7re7rreo/c6? pepo ? tov Tet^ou?, 
tov 8’ 'ApfiaKijv ev8vaavTe<; ttjv /8 aaiXiKijv 
GToXrjv tt poarjyopevaav fiacriXea, Kal t>/v twv 
oXwv e^ovcriav eirerpe-^av. 

28. ”E v8a 8r) tov fiacriXeun ? Tot? avvaywviaa- 
pevovt (TTpaTrjyois 8wpedt Te SiaSopTo? KaTa ttjv 
a^iav Kal aaTpdnras eOvwv Kaditndvros, irpocreX- 
dwv aiiTw BeXeai»? o Ba/8i»Xtowo?, 6 nrpoeiTrwv 
OTt fiacriXevs e errat t?;? 'Aerta?, t?}? re evepyeaias 

BOOK II. 27. 1-28. 1 

over, the inhabitants of the city had a great abundance 
of all provisions, since the king had taken thought on 
that score. Consequently the siege dragged on, and 
for two years they pressed their attack, making 
assaults on the walls and preventing the inhabitants 
of the city from going out into the country; but in 
the third year, after there had been heavy and con- 
tinuous rains, it came to pass that the Euphrates, 
running very full, both inundated a portion of the 
city and broke down the walls for a distance of 
twenty stades. At this the king, believing that the 
oracle had been fulfilled and that the river had 
plainly become the city’s enemy, abandoned hope of 
saving himself. And in order that he might not fall 
into the hands of the enemy, he built an enormous 
pyre 1 in his palace, heaped upon it all his gold and 
silver as well as every article of the royal wardrobe, 
and then, shutting his concubines and eunuchs in 
the room which had been built in the middle of the 
pyre, he consigned both them and himself and his 
palace to the flames. The rebels, on leaming of the 
death of Sardanapallus, took the city by forcing an 
entrance where the wall had fallen, and clothing 
Arbaces in the royal garb saluted him as king and 
put in his hands the supreme authority. 

28. Thereupon, after the new king had distributed 
among the generals who had aided him in the struggle 
gifts corresponding to their several deserts, and as he 
was appointing satraps over the nations, Belesys the 
Babylonian, who had foretold to Arbaces that he 
would be king of Asia, coming to him, reminded him 

1 Diodorus greatly abridged the desoription of this pyre hy 
Ctesias, since Athenaeus (12. 38), who derived his account of 
it also from Ctesias, gives many more details concerning it. 



vrrepvqae Kal r rjv Ba/3vXcbvos <*PXV V 

2 Sovvai, tcadairep ££ apxn ? vrreaxero. arretfrai- 
vero Se Kal /cara rovs kivSvvovs eavrov evxv v 
rrerroirja9ai rS> B^Xa) 'SapSavarrdXXov Kparrj- 
9evros Kal rebv 1 /SaaiXeicov eprrv pia9 evraiv arro- 
KOfueiv rrjv arroSov rrjv £k tovtcov eis Ba{3v- 
X&va, Kal rrXrjaLov r ov repevovs r ov 9eov Kal 
rov rrorapov Kara9epevov %S>pa KaraaKevdaeiv 
r6 7r ape£opevov rols Kara rov Kv(f>pdrrjv rrXeov- 
aiv adavarov vrrbpvrjpa rov KaraXvaavros rrjv 

3 ’Aaavpieov dpx>jv. rovro S’ fjreiro rrv96pevbs 
rivo? evvov%ov ra rrepl rov apyvpov Kal xpvaov, 
ov SiaSpdvra Kal rrpos avrov avropoXrjaavra 

4 KareKpvtyev. 6 S’ 'ApftaKrjs rovreov oi/Sev elSws 
Sia ro rravras rovs ev rois f3aaiXeiois avyKara- 
Karjvai r& fiaaiXei, rrjv re arroSov arroKoplaai 
Kal rrjv Ba@vXa>va exeiv dreXfj avvexdrprjaev. 
el9' o pev BeXecru? rrXola rrapaarrjaapevos pera 
rrjs arroSov ro rrXelarov rov re apyvpov Kal rov 
Xpvaov avvropios arreareiXev eis Ba/3vXb)va- 6 
Se /3aaiXevs, prjvv9eiarjs avra> rrjs rrpd^eios 
avroij>(!>pov, z SiKaaras arreSei^e rovs avvayarvi- 

5 aapevovs arparrjyovs. rov irpd^avros S’ opoXo- 
yovvros dSiKeiv, ro pev SiKaarrjpiov avrov 9dva- 
rov Kareyvco, o Se fiaaiXevs, peyaXo^vxos d>v 
Kal rrjv dpx^v rrjs rjyepovLas J3ovXopevos imeiKrj 
rrapexe<r9ai, rwv re kivSvviov arreXvae rov 
BeXeavv Kal rov drroKeKop.iap.evov apyvpov Kal 
Xpvaov ex^iv avvexdrprjaev" opoiios Se Kal rrjv 
ei; dpxrjs So9eiaav etjovalav rrjs Baj3vXwvos 

1 after tu v added by Vulgate, Bukker, Dindorf. 


BOOK II. 28. 1-5 

of his good Services, and asked that he be given the 
govemorship of Babylon, as had been promised at the 
outset. He also explained that when their cause 
was endangered he had made a vow to Belus that, if 
Sardanapallus were defeated and his palace went up 
in flames, he would bring its ashes to Babylon, and 
depositing them near the river and the sacred 
precinct of the god he would construet a mound 
which, for ali who sailed down the Euphrates, would 
stand as an etemal memorial of the man who had 
overthrown the rule of the Assyrians. This request 
he made because he had learned from a certain 
eunuch, who had made his escape and come to 
Belesys and was kept hidden by him, of the facts 
regarding the silver and gold. Now since Arbaces 
knew nothing of this, by reason of the fact that all 
the inmates of the palace had been burned along with 
the king, he allowed him both to carry the ashes away 
and to hold Babylon without the payment of tribute. 
Thereupon Belesys procured boats and at once sent 
off to Babylon along with the ashes practically all the 
silver and gold; and the king, having been informed 
of the act which Belesys hadbeencaught perpetrating, 
appointed as judges the generals who had served with 
him in the war. And when the accused acknowledged 
his guilt, the court sentenced him to death, but the 
king, being a magnanimous man and wishing to 
make his rule at the outset known for clemency, both 
freed Belesys from the danger threatening him and 
allowed him to keep the silver and gold which he had 
carried off; likewise, he did not even take from him 
the govemorship over Babylon which had originally 

> but oipdpov Bhodomann : ahroipdpov. 



ouk a<f>ei\€To, iprjaas pelfavas elvai tcls it; avTOv 
■tr poyeyevripevas evepyealas t&v vtnepov ahucr)- 

6 paTiov. Bia^orjdelarjs Se tt}<; imei/celas ov Ttjv 
t vxpvaav evvoiav apia 1 «at So^av irapa t&v 
e6v&v cnrrjveyicaTO, wdvTtov KpivovTtov a^iov elvai 
ttjs fiaaiXetas tov ovtq> rrpoaevexdevTa toIs 

7 aSi/cqaatriv. o S’ ovv Ap/3d/cr)<; toIs «ara 

7 to\iv imeucS .>? irpoaevexOels ovtovs pev /cara 
K&pa <r hiwKiae, Tas ISlas KTtjaeis bcdcnois 
airohovs, ttjv Se iroXiv eis e&a<f>os Karea/ca^frev. 
etrena tov re apyvpov «at XP vaov T0V * K T V* 
irvpas VTToXeujidevTa ttoXX&v ovra TaXavTcov 
direKopiae Trjs Mrjblas eis ’ E/cfidrava. 

8 'H /tei> oCf rjyepovia rS>v 'Aaavplaiv diro Nlvov 
biapelvaoa TpiaKovTa pev yeveds, eTt) Se •trXelo) 
t&v xiXlrov Kal TpiaKoalmv, v-rro M^Scof KaTeXvffrj 
tov Trpoeiprjpevov Tponov. 

29. ' S’ oiiK dvdppotJTOV elvai So/tet 7re/3l 
t&v ev Baj3uX&vi XaXSattai' Kal Trjs dpj^aioTtjTos 
av t&v fipa^ea hieXdeiv, iva pr/Bev TrapaXelneopev 

2 t&v dlflcov pvrjprjs. XaXSatot toIvvv t&v ap^aio- 
TaToiv ovTes Ba/3vXa>vla>v tt} pev hiaipeaei t rys 
rroXnelas irapairXrjalav e^ovcn Taijtv toIs kot’ 
Alyvmov lepevai' trpos yap Trj Oepairela t&v 
Oe&v TeTaypevoi rrdvTa tov tov £fjv xpbvov 
<j)iXo<To<l>ovfft, peylcnrjv botjav e%ovTes ev dcnpo- 
Xoyia. dvTe^ovTai S’ etrl ttoXv Kal pavTiKr)s, 
iTOiovpevoi Trpopptjaeis 7 repi t&v peXXovTcov, Kal 
t&v pev KaOappois, t&v Se Ovalais, t&v S’ 
aXXais Tlotv eirtp&als arroTparras KaK&v Kal 

3 t eXei&aets ayad&v ireip&VTai iropl^eiv. epnreiplav 

1 S/ia Dindorf: a\\d. 


BOOK II. 28. 5-29. 3 

been given to him, saying that his former Services 
ivere greater than his subsequent misdeeds. When 
this act of clemency was noised about, he won no 
ordinary loyalty on the part of his subjects as well as 
renown among the nations, all judging that a man 
who had conducted himself in this wise tovvards 
wrongdoers was worthy of the kingship. Arbaces, 
however, showing clemency tovvards the inhabitants 
of the city, settlcd them in villages and returned to 
each man his personal possessions, but the city he 
levelled to the ground. Then the silver and gold, 
amounting to many talents, vvhich had been left in 
the pyre, he collected and took off to Ecbatana in 

So the empire of the Assyrians, which had endured 
from the time of Ninus through thirty generations, 
for more than one thousand three hundred years, 
was destroyed by the Medes in the manner described 

29. But to us it seems not inappropriate to speak 
briefly of the Chaldaeans of Babylon and of their 
antiquity, that we may omit nothing which is 
worthy of record. Now the Chaldaeans, belonging as 
they do to the most ancient inhabitants of Babylonia, 
have about the same position among the divisions of 
the state as that occupied by the priests of Egypt; for 
being assigned to the Service of the gods they spend 
their entire life in study, their greatest renown being 
in the field of astrology. But they occupy themselves 
largely with soothsaying as well, making predictions 
about future events, and in some cases by purifica- 
tions, in others by sacrifices, and in others by some 
other eharms they attempt to effect the averting of 
evil things and the fulfilment of the good. They are 


8’ €X°VIJt, Kal TtjS hld T&V olo)VO>V p.aVrlKf)S, 
evvirvUov re «at reparasv e^rjyqaeis airofyalvovrai. 
ovk d<ro<f)a>s Se iroiovvrai Kal t a irepl rrjv lepo- 
(TKOTrlav aKpios eirirvyxdveiv vopu^oures. 1 

Ti]V Se r ovrcov p.ddrjaiv dirdvroov ovx bp.olav 
TTOlOUVTal TOt? TO TOiaVT eirirrjhevovtri TU>V 
4 'EWipwv. 7ra/3a /tev 7<x/3 row XaXhalois e’« 
yevovs r) rovrtov <pi\ 0 (ro(f>la irapahehorai, Kal 
irais irapa, irarpos StaSe^erat, tmk aWcov 
Xeirovpyi&v iraacbv diro\e\up.evos. Sto «at yovels 
exornes hihatTKaXovs ap.a p.ev d<f>0ova>s airavra 
fiavOavovaiv, a/ta Se rois irapayyeWop,evois 
irpoaexovat iriarevovres fiefiaiorepov. eireir 
e udus e’« iralhwv <rvvrpetj>bp.evoi rols p.adf)p.aai 
pbeydXtjv etjiv irepiiroiovvrai hia re ro rrjs rjXiKias 
evBthaKTov xal hia rb irXrjdos rov irpoo /caprepou- 
pievov xpovov. 

6 Ilapa Se rols "EWrjffiv 6 iroWols airapa- 
crKevws 2 irpoailov oyfre irore rfjs <j>i\.ocro(j>las 
airrerai, Kal P-^XP 1 Tlv0< > <f>iXoirovtfaas 
irepiairacrdels viro fiiwriKrjs %/oeta? 1 oXlyoi he 
rives eirl <f>i\oao(f>lav airohvvres epyoXaftlas 
evexev irapapevovaiv ev ra> padfjpxiri, Kaivoro- 
povvres dei irepl rcbv peyltrrcov Soyparcov Kal 
0 ro is irpb avr&v ovk aKoXovdovvres. roiyapovv 
ol f.lev fiapfiapoi hiaph/ovres eirl ra>v avr&v ael 
fSefialws eKaara Xapftavovcriv, ol S’ "EXXtjves rov 

1 voplfavns D, Vogel: Bekker and Dindorf follow the 
Vulgate in reading yo/u(ov Tai, and think that some words 
have been lost after aa6<p<*>s Se. 

1 iroAAoi s iirapaaxivais Vogel: iroAui air apiani vos. 


BOOK II. 29. 3-6 

aiso skilled in soothsaying by the flight of birds, and 
they give out interpretations of both dreams and 
portents. They also show marked ability in making 
divinations from the observation of the entrails of 
animals, deeming that in this branch they are 
eminently successful. 

The training which they receive in all these matteis 
is not the same as that of the Greeks who follow such 
practices. For among the Chaldaeans the scientific 
study of these subjects is passed down in the family, 
and son takes it over from father, being relieved of 
all other Services in the state. Since, therefore, they 
have their parents for teachers, they not only are 
taught everything ungrudgingly but also at the same 
time they give heed to the precepts of their teachers 
with a more unwavering trust. Furthermore, since 
they are bred in these teachings from childhood up, 
they attain a great skill in them, both because of the 
ease with which youth is taught and because of the 
great amount of time which is devoted to this study. 

Among the Greeks, on the contrary, the student 
who takes up a large number of subjects without 
preparation turns to the higher studies only quite 
late, and then, after labouring upon them to some 
extent, gives them up, being distracted by the 
necessity of earning a livclihood; and but a few 
here and there really strip for the higher studies 
and continue in the pursuit of them as a profit- 
making business, and these are always trying to make 
innovations in connection with the most important 
doctrines instead of following in the path of their 
predecessors. The resuit of this is that the bar- 
barians, by sticking to the same things always, keep 
a firm hold on every detail, while the Greeks, on 



/cara ttjv ipyoXafiiav xepSov; aToya^opevoi xaiva; 
aipeaei; xTi^ovai, xal irepl to>v peyiaiwv Geojprj- 
paTcov dXXijXoi; avTiSo^ovvTe; Si^ovoeiv Toiovai 
tov; pavddvovTa; xal to; aurcov irXavd- 

adai, t ov irdvTa j 3 iov ev aldipa yivopeva; 1 xal 
prjSev oXto; irioTevaai Svi>apeva; / 3 efiala><;‘ ra? 
yovv eiu^aveaTaTa; aipeaei; twv (fnXorrcxpmv ei ti; 
dxpiftu )? e^erd^oi, irXeloTOV oaov evprjaei Siacj>e- 
povaa; dXXt/Xeov xal irepl tcov peyimwv So%wv 
evavTia So£a£ovaa;. 

30. Ot S’ oiiv XaXSaioi tt}v pev tov xoapov 
<j>vaiv diStov tfraaiv elvai xal pr/re ef dp^ij; 
yeveaiv eayr]xevai pi)0’ vaiepov (pdopav eiri- 
Se^eaOai, ttjv Se t£>v oXtov ragiv re xal Siaxo- 
apijcriv 6eia nvl irpovoia yeyovevai, xal vvv exaaia 
tcov ev ovpavco yivopevcov ov% tu? erv^ev oiiS’ 
ainopario; dXX’ dspiapevrj tivi xal fieftaico; 

2 xexvpwpevr/ de&v xpiaei avvreXeiadai. rcov S’ 
aarpoiv iroXv^poviov; irapanjpijaeis ireiroirjpevoi, 
xal t«? exacnov xivrjcrei; Te xal Svvapei; dxpifie- 
aiaia irdvrcov avOpcoircov iireyvmxoTe;, iroXXa 
ia>v peXXovTcov avp/ 3 aiveiv irpoXeyovai toi; 

3 dvdpdnroi;. peyitTTtjv Se 2 <f>aaiv elvai decopiav 
xal Svvapiv irepl toix; irevre daTepa; tov; irXdvrj- 
ra? xaXovpevov;, ov; exeivoi xoivf) pe v epprjvel; 
ovopa^ovaiv, ISia Si tov vito tcov’ EXXr/vcov Kpovov 
ovopa^opevov, eirifyavecnaTov Se xal irXeitTTa xal 

1 yivoutyas Coraes : ycyo/ievas- 1 St Dindorf : re. 

1 i.e. to mankind of the will of the goda, 

2 Satum. 



BOOK II. 29. 6-30. 3 

tlie other hand, aiming at the profit to be made out 
of the business, keep founding new schools and, 
wrangling with each other over the most important 
matters of speculation, bring it about that their 
pupils hold conflicting views, and that their minds, 
vacillating throughout their lives and unable to be- 
lieve anything at all with firm conviction, simply 
wander in confusion. It is at any rate true that, if 
a man were to examine carefully the most famous 
schools of the philosophers, he would find them differ- 
ing from one another to the uttermost degree and 
maintaining opposite opinions regarding the most 
fundamcntal tcnets. 

30. Now, as the Chaldaeans say, the world is by its 
nature eternal, and neither had a first beginning nor 
will at a later time suffer destruction; furthermore, 
both the disposition and the orderly arrangement of 
tlic universe liave come about by virtue of a divine 
providence, and to-day wliatever takcs place in the 
heavens is in every instance brouglit to pass, not at 
haphazard nor by virtue of any spontaneous action, 
but by some fixed and firmly determined divine 
decision. And since they liave observed the stars 
over a long period of time and have noted both the 
movements aud the influences of each of them with 
greater prccision than any other men, they foretell 
to mankind many things that will take place in the 
future. But above all in importance, they say, is the 
study of the influence of the five stars known as 
planets, which they call “ Interpreters ” 1 when 
speaking of them as a group, but if referring to them 
singly, the one namcd Cronus 2 by the Greeks, which 
is the most conspicuous and presages more events and 
such as are of greater importance than the others, 


peytara rrpoarjpaivovra, KaXovcnv 'HXlov rovs 
8 aXXovs rerrapas opotcos rois irap’ t)ptv darpo- 
Xoyots ovopd^ovatv, * A pe os, \A ippoSirrjs, 'Idppov, 
4 A cos. 8id rovro 8' avrovs epptjvels xaXovatv, 
ori ra>v aXXcov aarepasv dirXavcbv ovrcov rcal 
reraypevp rropeia piav nrepupopav eyovrwv ovrot 
povai rropeiav I8iav rrotovpevot rct peXXovra 
yiveaOai 8etKvvovatv, epprjvevovres rois dv 9 pa>- 
7 tois tt)v rcbv 6ea>v evvotav. 1 ra pev yap 8ia rijs 
dvaroXrjs, rd 8e 8id rrjs Svaecos, rtvct 8e 8ta rrjs 
Xpoas rrpocnjpalveiv <f>aah> avrovs rois irpoaexetv 
6 dieptfi&s ftovXrjOeiar irore piev yap rrvevpdrmv 
peyedrj 8-ijXovv avrovs, rrore 8e op,/ 3 pcov t) icavpd- 
rojv inrepftoXds, ecrrt 8e ore Koprjr&v darepcov 
imroXds, en 8e rfXtov re ical aeXqvqs iicXeitjreis, 
icat creicrpovs, icat ro avvoXov rrdaas ras e/c rov 
rreptexovros yevvcopevas nepiordoets ds$>eXip,ovs 
re icat / 3 Xa/ 3 epas ov pdvov eOveatv tj 2 rorrots, 
aXXa tcctt fiaatXevm ical r ois rvyovcnv tSicorais . 
tt 'T7 to Se ri]V rovrcov <f>opav Xeyovat rerax^at 
rpt&Kovra darepas, ovs npoaayopevovat / 3 ov- 
Xatovs 6eovs' r ovrcov 8e r ovs pev r^piaets rovs 
inrep yijv rorrovs e<f>opav, rovs 8' r)piaets rovs 8 
inrb rijv yrjv, ra icar dvdpdnrovs emaicorrovvras 
apa icat ra /cara rov ovpavov ovpftaivovra- Sta, 
8 ' rjpepcbv 8eica rreprceaOat rcbv pev dva> rrpos 
rovs icdrai tcadarrep ayyeXov eva rcbv darepcov, 

1 tryoiay Dindorf: ttvoiav. 

* ti Vogel, following ODF; ita! Bekker and Dindorf, 
following the otlier MSS. 

* rotis added by Reiske. 


Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter. 

BOOK II. 30. 3-6 

they call the star of Helius, whereas the other four 
they designate as the stars of Ares, Aphrodite, 
Hermes, and Zeus, 1 as do our astrologers. The reason 
why they call them “ Interpreters ” is that whereas 
all the other stars are fixed and follow a single Circuit 
in a regular course, these alone, by virtue of following 
each its own course, point out future events, thus 
interpreting to mankind the design of the gods. For 
sometimes by their risings, sometimes by their set- 
tings, and again by their colour, the Chaldaeans say, 
they give signs of coming events to such as are 
wilhng to observe them closely; for at one time 
they show forth mighty storms of winds, at another 
excessive rains or heat, at times the appearance of 
comets, also eclipses of both sun and moon, and 
earthquakes, and in a word all the conditions which 
owe their origin to the atmosphere and work both 
benefits and harm, not only to whole peoples or 
regions, but also to kings and to persons of private 

Under the course in which these planets move are 
situated, according to them, thirty stars, 2 which they 
designate as “ counselling gods ”; of these one half 
oversee the regions above the earth and the other 
half those beneath the earth, having under their 
purview the affairs of mankind and likewise those of 
the heavens; and every ten days one of the stars 
above is sent as a messenger, so to speak, to the stars 

1 According to Bouche-Leclercq, L’Astrologic Grtcque, p. 
43, n. 4, Diodorus has confused here two distinet systems, 
that of the thirty-six stars known as decans, which Baby- 
lonian astrology designated as rulers of ten degrees in each 
zodiac, and that of the thirty stars which the Egyptians be- 
lioved to be gods, each of whom presided over one of the 
thirty days of the month. 



x &v 8' vtto yfjv 7 rpos tovs avo) iraXiv opoiois eva, 
kcu ravrijv ey_eiv aiirovs tpopav &piepevr\v tcai 

7 7 repio8<p KeKvptopevrjv al<ovL(p. r&v 6e&v Se tou- 
to)v Kvpiovs elvai ipaei 8&8exa t ov dpidpov,cov 
exaerip prjva Kal t&v 8&8eKa Xeyopevmv tySicov 
ev trpoevepovei. 8ia Se tovtcov <f>ael rroieieQai 
ttjv rropelav tov Te tfXiov Kal rijv eeXrjvyv xai 
irevre rovs rrXavrjTas derepas, tov pev r/Xiov tov 
l8iov kvkXov ev iviavr& reXovvros, rrjs 8e eeXrj- 
vi 79 ev prjvl rrjv l8Lav irepio8ov StarropevopevrjS- 
31. T wv Se TrXavrjTaiv i8iov exaerov 1 ex^iv 
8p6pov Kai SirjXXaypevms Kal ttoikiXcos xPV°@ al 
toIs Tabeat Kai t rj t&v xpovtov 8iaipeeei. TrXelera 
Se 7 rpos t as yeveeeis t&v avd putrrorv evpftaX- 
Xeoffai tovtovs tovs derepas ayaOa re Kai 
/caxa • 8ih Se rfjs rovrasv <j> vee&s re Kai 6e<opias 
pdXiera yiv&eKeiv t a evpftaivovra tois avdpor- 

2 7roi?. ireTTOir\e6ai Se (j>aei 7rpoppijeeis aXXois 
re /3aeiXeveiv ovk oXiyois Kai KaraTroXeprj- 
eavn Aapeiov ' AXetjdv8po> Kai rols pera ravra 
jSaeiXeveaeiv 'Avnyovo) re Kal SeXewceo r& 
WiKdropi, iv arrae 1 Se rols prjffeieiv eiier o^jj- 
Kevai SoKoveiv vrrep &v tjpeis 2 t a xara pepos 

3 iv olKeiorepois avaypdrjropev Kaipois. irpoXe- 
yovei Se Kal tois iSi&rais ra peXXovra evpJBai- 
veiv ovreos everoxeos mere tovs ireipaOevras 
Oavpa^eiv to yivopevov Kal pet^ov rj xar avQpor- 
7 rov fjyeieBai. 

4 MeTa Se tov faSiaxov kvkXov eixoei Kal 

1 IStov cKaarov Vogel: tuaerov 78 tov Vulgate, Bekker, 

45 2 

BOOK II. 30. 6-31. 4 

below, and again in like manner one of the stars 
below the earth to those above, and this movement of 
theirs is fixed and determined by means of an orbit 
which is unchanging for ever. Twelve of these gods, 
they say, hold chief authority, and to each of these 
the Chaldaeans assign a month and one of the signs 
of the zodiac, as they are called. And through the 
midst of these signs, they say, both the sun and 
moon and the five planets make their course, the 
sun completing his cycle in a year and the moon 
traversing her Circuit in a month. 

31. Each of the planets, according to them, has lts 
own particular course, and its velocities and periods 
of time are subject to change and variation. These 
stars it is which exert the greatest influence for both 
good and evil upon the nativity of men; and it is 
chiefly from the nature of these planets and the 
study of them that they know what is in store for 
mankind. And they have made predictions, they 
say, not only to numerous otlier kings, but also to 
Alexander, who defeated Darius, and to Antigonus 
and Seleucus Nicator who afterwards became kings, 
and in all their prophecies they are thought to have 
hit the truth. But of these things we shall write in 
detail on a more appropriate occasion. 1 Moreover, 
they also foretell to men in private station what will 
befall them, and with such accuracy that those who 
have made trial of them marvel at the feat and believe 
that it transcends the power of man. 

Beyond the circle of the zodiac they designate 

1 For prophecies to Alexander cp. Book 17. 112, and to 
Antigonus, Book 19. 55. 

* Vogel: omitted by Vulgate, Bekker, Dindorf. 



rerr apa<! dipopi^ovaiv derepas, &v rovs pev 
fj/uaeis ev rois fiopeiois pepeai, rovs S’ fj pia eis 
ev rots voriois rera^dai <f>aai, /cal rovnov rovs 
pev opwpevovs r&v %&vra)v elvai Karapidpovai, 
t ovs o dipaveis rois rereXevrrjKoai irpoampiadai 
vopi^ovatv, otis SiKaaras r&v o\wv irpoaayo- 

5 pevovaiv. viro rravra Se rd rrpoeiprjjtAva rfjv 
aeXijvrjv (pepeaffai Xeyovaiv, eyyiara pev rfjs yfjs 
ovaav Sia rtjv fiapvrrjra, Siairopevopevrjv S’ ev 
eXa^iarai xpovm rov eavrfjs Spopov, ov Sia rfjv 
oi-vrrjra rfjs (popas, aXXa Sia rtjv /Spaxvrrjra 

6 rov kvkXov. ori Se r6 <pa>s aXXorpiov e^ei /cal 
Sion r as eicXeiyjreis iroieirai Sia ro axiaapa rrjs 
yrjS rrapavXrjaia Xeyovat rois r, E XXrjai, rrepl Se 
rfjs Kara rov fjXiov eicXeiyJrems aadeveararas 
airoSei^eis (pepovres ov roXpcoai irpoXeyeiv ovS' 
aicpi/3d>s virep ravrrjs irepiypdpeiv 1 rovs Xpovovs, 

7 rrepl Se rfjs yfjs ISiroraras dirotpaaeis iroiovvrai, 
Xeyovres virapxetv avrrjv aicapoeiSfj ical KoiXr)v, 
Kcu iroXXas xal iriOavas airoSeifjeis eviropovai 
rrepi re ravrrjs ical irepi rmv aXXeov r&v Kara 
rov Koapov virep &v rd Kara pepos Sieljievai 
rfjs viroKeipevrjs laroplas aXXorpiov elvai vopi- 

8 %opev. rovro pevroi ye Siafiefiai&aair av ns 
irpoarjKovrars ori XaXSaloi peyiarrjv e£iv ev 
aarpoXoyia r&v airdvrwv avdp&irmv exovai Kal 
Sion irXeiarrjv eiripeXeiav eiroifjaavro ravrrjs 

9 rfjs dempias . rrepl Se rov irXrjdovs r&v er&v, ev 
ois (paai rrjv dewpiav r&v Kard rov Koapov ire- 
iroifjadai ro avarrjpa r&v XaXSaiaiv, ovk av ns 
paSiios iriarevaeiev’ er&v yap eirra Kal rerrapd- 
Kovra pvpiaSas Kal rpeis eirl ravrais ^tXtaSa? 

BOOK II. 3 x. 4-9 

twenty-four other stars, of which one half, they 
say, are situated in the northern parts and one half 
in the Southern, and of these those which are 
visible they assign to the world of the living, while 
those which are invisible they regard as being 
adjacent to the dead, and so they call them 
“ Judges of the Universe.” And under ali the 
stars hitherto mentioned the moon, according to 
them, takes her way, being nearest the earth because 
of her weight and completing her course in a very 
brief period of time, not by reason of her great 
velocity, but because her orbit is so short. They also 
agree with the Greeks in saying that her light is 
reflected and that her eclipses are due to the shadow 
of the earth. Regarding the eclipse of the sun, 
however, they offer the weakest kind of explanation, 
and do not presume to predict it or to define the times 
of its occurrence with any precision. Again, in 
connection with the earth they make assertions 
entirely peculiar to themselves, saying that it is 
shaped like a boat and hollow, and they offer many 
plausible arguments about both the earth and all 
other bodies in the firmament, a full discussion of 
which we feel would be alien to our history. This 
point, however, a man may fittingly maintain, that 
the Chaldaeans have of all men the greatest grasp of 
astrology, and that they have bestowed the greatest 
diligence upon the study of it. But as to the number 
of years which, according to their statements, the 
order of the Chaldaeans has spent on the study of 
the bodies of the universe, a man can scarcely 
believe them; for they reckon that, down to 

1 Treptypdipeiy Wesseling : vapaypdipfiv. 



w? Tr/v^ AXe^avSpov Suifiaaiv yeyovevai /car- 
apiOpovaiy, a<f otov to traXaiov ypgavTO twv 
acrTpwv t a? tt apaTp prjo eis iroielaQai. 

^ ‘ lre £ l |W6 f XaXSaiwv dpKeaOpaopeOa tois 

pijdetaiv^ iva pp pa/cporepov diroirXavwpeOa tIjs 
oi/ceias loTopias' irepl Se Trjs 'Aatrvpiwv ftaai- 
XeLas a>s^viro MrjSwv KareXvOp irpoeiprj/coTes 
eiravipev oOev e^e/3rjpev. 

32. E7ret Se Sia<f>wvoveriv ol iraXaioTmoi twv 
avyypapewv irepl t?)s peytarrjs twv MrjSwv 
rjyepovias, oi/ceio v eivai SiaXa pj3dvo pev tois 
4>iXaXr]8 ccs t as irpdgeis laropeiv ftovXopevois ttjv 
8ia<f>opaV' twv iaTopioypdefrwv rrap dXXrfXa 

2 Oetvai. ' HpoSoTOs pev ovv *ara Bepjjpv yeyovws 
T°ls xpovois 4>r]alv ’Aaavpiovs €Ti) irevraKoaia 
irpoTepov Trjs ’A alas apgavTas viro MrjSwv /caTa - 
Xyffijvai, erreiTa ftacnXea pev prjSeva yeveoOai 
tov aptfuaftrjT rjaoina twv oXwv errl iroXXcis 
yeveas, t as 8e rroXeis /ca &’ eavTas t aTTopevas 
SioiKeladat Srjpo/cpaTi/cws • to Se TeXeuiaiov 
ttoXXwv Jtwv ' SieXOovTwv aipedrjvai fiaaiXea 
irapa tois M r/Sois avSpa Si/eaioavvr) Siuipopov, 

3 ovopa Kva^dprjv. tovtov Se irpwTov eTrixeipPjaai 
irpoadyeadai tovs tt Xrjaioxwpovs, /cal tois MrjSois 
apxnybv yeveadat t?]s _ twv oXwv pye pavias- 
eirena tovs e/cyovovs dei irpoaicaratcTwpevovs 
iroXXrjv Tijs opopov %<B/5a? avgqtrai t>)v /3aai- 
Xeiav pexpi ’ AaTvdyovs tov KaTairoXeprjffevTos 

, ? ln J™ f ™ erSla ’ 486-464 B -C.; Herodotus was bom in the 
deeade 490-80 B.o. The passage is Herodotus I. 95 ff. ( where, 
however, the years are given as five hundred and twenty. 


BOOK II. 31. 9-32. 3 

Alexander’s Crossing over into Asia, it has been four 334 b . 0 . 
hundred and seventy-three thousand years, since 
they began in early times to make their observations 
of the stars. 

So far as the Chaldaeans are concerned we shall be 
satisfied with what has been said, that we may not 
wander too far from the matter proper to our history; 
and now that we have given an account of the destruc- 
tion of the kingdom of the Assyrians by the Medes 
we shall return to the point at which we digressed. 

32. Since the earliest writers of history are at 
variance concerning the mighty empire of the 
Medes, we feel that it is incumbent upon those who 
would write the history of events with a love for truth 
to set forth side by side the different accounts of the 
historians. Now Herodotus, who lived in the time 
of Xerxes, 1 gives this account: After the Assyrians 
liad ruled Asia for five hundred years they were con- 
quered by the Medes, and thereafter no king arose 012 b.o. 
for many generations to lay claim to supreme power, 
but the city-states, enjoying a regimen of their own, 
were administered in a democratic fashion; finally, 
however, after many years a man distinguished for 
his justice, named Cyaxares, 2 was chosen king among 
the Medes. He was the first to try to attach to himself 
the neighbouring peoples and became for the Medes 
the founder of their universal empire; and after him 
his descendants extended the kingdom by continually 
adding a great deal of the adjoining country, until the 
reign of Astyages who was conquered by Cyrus and 

2 Herodotus mentions three kings, Deioces, Phraortes, and 
Cyaxares, before Astyages. The Cyaxares mentioned here 
by Diodorus is really the Deioces 01 Herodotus 1. 96 B., , but 
Diodorus, in Book 8. 16, mentions a Deioces, “ the king 01 the 
Medes.’ ’ 



viro Kvpov /cal Uepcrebv. vepl arv vvv rjpei? ra 
/cecf>d\aia irpoetpTj/coTe? ra /cara pepo? vcnepov 
aKpi^Si? avaypdyfropev, eiretSdv eirl tov? olxetov? 
yjrovov? e7r ifiaXcopev /cara yap to Sevrepov cto? 
Trjt ema/cacSe/caTT)? 'OXvp.Tr tabo? fjpeBrj /3acri\ev? 
viro Mr]&0)v K va^dprj? /cad' 'H poSoTov. 

4 K Trjcrta? 8e o K vlSto? toI? pev %povoi? virrjpfje 
xard ttjv Kvpov aTpajeiav eVi 'Apragepgrjv tov 
a8eX<f>ov, yevopevo? &' aixpdXcoTO?, /cal 8td ttjv 
unpucrjv imcrTijpTjv dvaXTjeftBel? viro tov fiaat- 
Xeco?, eTnaxaiSexa cttj SteTeXecre Tipcbpevo? vir' 
avTov. ovto? oiv <f>r)cnv e/c r<S v fiamXucSiv 
8i<f>0epa>v, ev ah oi D e per at t d? TraXata? irpaget? 
xaTa Tiva vopov el^ov crvvTeraypeva?, iroXvirpay 
povfjcrat t a ko6' exaaTov /cal avvTa^dpevo? 1 ttjv 

5 icnopiav ei? Tovt "FjXXrjva? e%ei/ey/ceiv. <f>Tjcrlv 
ovv peTa ttjv xaTaXvatv ttjv 'Acravpicov rjyepovia? 
MtjSov? irpoo-Trjvai ttj? 'Acria? 'Apfid/cov ftacri- 
XevovTo ? tov '5Lap8avd‘naXXov KaTairoXeprjcravTo 9, 

6 /caOoTi irpoeiprjTai. tovtov 8' apgavTO? Uttj Sval 
XenrovTa tojv TpiaxovTa 8ta8e£acrdai ttjv /3acri- 
Xeiav tov viov MavSdxtjv, ov apgai ttj? ’Acria 9 
€ttj irevTrjKovTa. pera 8e tovtov t pid/covTa pev 
€ttj /3acriXevcrai Xcbcrappov, trevTrjKOVTa 8e 
ApTvxav, 8vo 8e irpo 9 T049 ei/cocri tov irpocr- 
ayopevopevov 'Apftidvrjv, TeTTapaxoma 8e 'Ap- 

33. ’E7T4 8e tovtov eTVcnfjvac peyav iroXepov 
1 trvvTalifttros (iemistus: auvTa(i/itvov. 

1 Herodotus puts the accession of Deioces (the Cyaxares of 

Diodorus) in 69D B.o. (op. How and Wells, A Commentary on 

Herodotus, 1. pp. 383 fi.), if the defeat of Astyages by Cyrus 

BOOK II. 32- 3-33- 1 

the Persians. We have for the present given only the 549 b.o. 
most important of these events in summary and shall 
later give a detailed account of them one by one 
when we come to the periods in wliich they fall; for 
it was in the second yearof theSeventeenth Olympiad, 
according to Herodotus, that Cyaxares was chosen 711-10 
king by the Medes. 1 

Ctesias of Cnidus, on the other hand, lived during 
the time when Cyrus 2 made his expedition against 401 b.o. 
Artaxerxes his brother, and having been made 
prisoner and then retained by Artaxerxes because of 
his medical knowledge, he enjoyed a position of 
honour with him for seventeen years. 3 Now Ctesias 
says that from the royal records, in which the Per¬ 
sians in accordance with a certain law of theirs kept 
an account of their ancient affairs, he carefully in- 
vestigated the facts about each king, and when he 
had composed his history he published it to the 
Greeks. This, then, is his account: After the de- 
struction of the Assyrian Empire the Medes were the 
chief power in Asia under their king Arbaces, who 
conqucred Sardanapallus, as has been told before. 4 
And when he had reigned twenty-eight years his 
son Maudaces succeeded to the throne and reigned 
over Asia fifty years. After him Sosarmus ruled for 
thirty years, Artycas for fifty, the king known as 
Arbianes for twenty-two, and Artaeus for forty years. 

33. During the reign of Artaeus a great war broke 

occurred in 549 b.c. (cp. The Cambridge Ancient History, 4. 
p. 7) and not, aa formerly held, in 550. 

2 Cyrus the Younger, the atory of whose atruggle with his 
brother for the throne is told in the Anabasie of Xenophon. 

3 According to Plutarch ( Artaxerxes, 11 fi.), Ctesias was 
already in the king’s retinue at the time. 

* Cp. chaps. 23 fi. 



Tot? M ?;Soi? 7 T /309 Ka8ovtrlov<! Sia roiatiTa? 
atrta?. UapacovSi/v tov Ylepo-rjv, Oavpa^opevov eV’ 
dvSpeia Kal avveaei Kal t at? aXXat? aperah, <f>iXov 
T 6 VTraptjai tw /SacrtXet «at peytcnov layyaai totv 

2 peTexovTwv tov ftaaiXucov avveSpLov. tovtov S' 
viro tov /SaatXea)? eV t( vi Kplaei XviTTjQevTa (pvyelv 
peTa 7re£a>z> /tey Tpio^iXlcov, Imreeav Se -^iXLeov el 9 
KaSoveriow;, nap’ 0Z9 771/ inSeSo/ievo? ttjv ISlav 
aSeXipfjv tw paXiaTa SuvaoTeuovTi «ara tovtov<; 

3 toi)? T 07 roi;?. 7 evopevov S’ diroardTTjv Kal 7ret- 

aavTa to avpirav e6vo<; uvt kyeoBai ri;? eXeu- 
Oepias, aipeOfjvai aTpaTtjybv Sia ttjv avSpeiav. 
eirena irvvdavopevov a6 poi^opevijv hr au tov 
peyaXrjv Svvapuv, KadoirXloai rou? KaSoucrtou? 
iravSrjpel, Kal KaTaaTpaToireSevaat irpex; Tat? ei? 
ttjv %cbpav et<7/SoXat9 eyovTa tovs ovpiravTas 

4 017« eXaTTOV<! eiKoai pvpiaSwv. tov Se /SacrtXea)? 
’ ApTaiov aTpaTevaavTO^ eV’ avTov pvpidaiv 
dySotjKovTa paxv KpaTrjaai Kal irXeiovi pev tcov 
irevTaKiapvplutv dveXelv, ttjv S ’ aXXrjv Svvapiv 
eKfiaXeiv e’« T 17 ? KaSoocritov ^<opa?. Sto «at 
•rapa Tot? eyxcopiois Oavpa^opevov aipeOfjvai Te 
fiaatXea Kal ttjv MrjSlav (TW^b? XerjXaTelv Kal 

5 irdvTa tottov KaTafyOeLpeiv. peyaXTj<! Se So^tj<; 
TvxovTa, Kal yrjpa peXXovTa KaraaTpeifieiv tov 
j3iov, dpav 9e<r6ai irapaaTrjodpevov tov StaSe^o- 
pevov ttjv apxvv, 07rw9 prjSeiroTe SiaXvacovTai 
ttjv ex^pav KaSovaioi 7rpo? M^Son? 1 ei Se <ri5z>- 
6oivto 6poXoyla<;, efciXet? 7 eveaBai too? re a7ro 

6 toO yevovt ainov Kal KaSoocrtoo? onravTai;. Sta 
Sr; Taora? Ta? airia? det 7roXe/tt«w? eaxVKevai 
KaSooatoo? 7rpo? MpSoo?, «at pijSbroTe toi? 

BOOK II. 33. 1-6 

out between the Medes and the Cadusii, for the 
foliowing reasons. Parsondes, a Persian, a man 
renowned for his valour and intclligence and evcry 
other virtue, was both a friend of the king s and the 
most influential of the members of the royal council. 
Feeling himself aggrieved by tlie king in a certam 
decision, he fled with three thousand foot-soldiers 
and a thousand horsemen to the Cadusii, to one of 
whom, the most influential man in those parts, he had 
given his sister in marriage. And now that he had 
become a rebel, he persuaded the entire people to 
vindicate their freedom and was chosen general be- 
cause of his valour. Then, learning that a great force 
was being gathered against him,he armed the whole 
nation of the Cadusii and pitched his camp before the 
passes leading into the country, having a force of no 
less than two hundred thousand men all told. And 
although the king Artaeus advanced against him 
with eight hundred thousand soldiers, Parsondes 
defeated him in battle and slew more than fifty 
thousand of his followers, and drove the rest of the 
army out of the country of the Cadusii. And for 
this exploit he was so admired by the people of the land 
that he was chosen king, and he plundered Media 
without ceasing and laid waste every district of the 
country. And after he had attained great fame and 
was about to die of old age, he called to his side his 
successor to the throne and required of him an oath 
that the Cadusii should ne ver put an end to their 
enmity towards the Medes, adding that, if peace 
were ever made with them, it meant the destruction 
of his line and of the whole race of the Cadusii. These, 
then, were the reasons why the Cadusii were always 
inveterate enemies of the Medes, and had never bcen 


tovtcov ftaaiXevoiv vnrjKoovt yeyovevai, pexpt 
oS Kvpov et? IIeptra? peTetTTrjcre Trjv rjyepovlav. 

34. Tcov Se M r/Scov fiaaiXevaai puera t rjv 
'Apraiov TeXevrrjv 'Aprvvrjv pev errj Svo i rpo? 
Tot? ef/rocrt, ’Aartfiapav Se TeTTapaKOVTa. enl 
S& tovtov Udp0ov<t dnotjTdvras M.rjScov Stt/rat? 

2 jrjv re X™P av Kal T V V iroktv eyxeiplaar Sionep 
avardvro*; noXepov Tot? Sd/rat? npot M ijSov? 
en errj nXelco yeveadai re pdxa<f oiiK oXiyas 
Kal crvxvoiv nap dpufiorepois dvaipeOevrcov to 
TeXevraiov elptfvrjv aurovv enl rolcrSe avvQeadai , 
II apdovt pev vno Mr/8ou? TerdxSai, t&v Se 
npovnapxovrwv eKarepovf KvpievcravTas cf>iXov<; 
elvai Kal crvppdxovs dXXtfXois et? tov anavra 

3 HatrtXeva-at Se rore tcov Sa/cco v yvvaiKa ra 
Kara noXepov e^rjXcoKvlav Kal roXpr) re Kal 
npagei noXii Siacftepovcrav tcov ev 2d*at? yvvat- 
kcov, ovopa Zaplvav. KadoXov pev ovv to edvof 
tovto yvvaiKas dXKipovs emetit Kal Koivwvouaas 
t ot? avSpacn tcov ev rolt noXepot<; KivSvvcov, 
ravTTjv Se Xeyerai ra> re xdXXei yeveaOai naacov 
eKnpeneardrr)v x Kal t at? eni/3oXat<; Kal Tot? 

4 Kara pepo? ey^etprjpaai davpaarrjv. tcov pev 
yap nXr)<jiox<opcov /3ap/3dpcov toi)? enrjppevovc; 
t <p 9 pdaei Kal KaraSovXovpevov^ to eOvos tcov 
'S.aKcbv KaranoXeprjaai, t i)? Se ^topa? noXXrjv 
etfrjpepcocrai, Kal noXeis ovk oXiyas KTicrai, Kal 
to avvoXov evSaipLOvecrTepov tov fiiov tcov opo- 

5 eOvcov noirjaai. Sio Kal tou? eyx<opiov<i pera 

1 iKrpntcaTaTitv D, Vogel: finrpfncaro.-n]v Vlllgate, Bekker, 



BOOK II. 33. 6-34- 5 

subjected to the Median kings up to the time when 
Cyrus transferred the Empire of tlie Mcdes to tlie 

34. After the death of Artaeus, Ctesias continues, 
Artynes ruled over the Medcs for twenty-two years, 
and Astibaras for forty. During the reign of the 
latter the Parthians revolted from the Medes and 
entrusted both their country and their city to the 
hands of the Sacae. This led to a war between the 
Sacae and the Medes, which lasted many years, and 
after no small number of battles and the loss of many 
lives on both sides, they finally agreed to peace on 
the following terms, that the Parthians should be 
subject to the Medes, but that both peoples should 
retain their former possessions and be friends and 
allies for e ver. 

At that time the Sacae were ruled by a woman 
named Zarina, who was devotcd to warfare and was in 
daring and efficiency by far the foremost of the women 
of the Sacae. Now this people, in general, have 
courageous women who share with their husbands 
the dangers of war, but she, it is said, was the most 
conspicuous of them all for her beauty and remark- 
able as well in respect to both her designs and what- 
ever she undertook. For she subdued sueh of the 
neighbouring barbarian peoples as had become proud 
because of their boldness and were trying to enslave 
the people of the Sacae, and into much of her own 
realm she introduced civilized life, founded not a few 
cities, and, in a word, made the life of her people 
happier. Conscquently her countrymen after her 



tt)v TtXevTTjv avTi]<: X ll P lv diroSiSovTas tcov 
evepyecncbv /cal T77? dperrj<; pv/jpovevovTas Tacpov 
obcoSopricrcu ttoXv tcov ovtcov irap' avTolf inrep- 
exovTcr virocmjaapevov’; ydp irvpapiSa Tpiycovov 
Tpicov pev cnahLcov e/cd<iTr)v TrXeupav avrip /caTa- 
a/cevaoai t o ^i)/eo?, to S’ vyfro ?. crraSialov, el ? o£u 
avvrjyp.ivr)'! t 77? /copvcprj<;- imaTtjacu Se tm Tacfjcp 
/cal xpvcrfjv el/cova /coXoTTi/crjv, /cal Tipa<; r)pcouca<t 
dirovelpai, /cal TaXXa irdvra peyaXoTrpeTreaTepa 
7 TOieiv tcov Tot? irpoydvovi avT 7 )<: crvyxcoprjOevTcov. 

6 ’ Acm(3dpa Se tov fiacnXecos tcov Mrj&cov iv 
’E/cf 3 aTavoi<; yrjpa TeXevTr)aavTO<i tt/v dpxh v 
'AcnravSav tov viov StaSel-ao-dai, tov vito t&v 
'Ettijwi/ ’Atnvdytjv /caXovpevov. tovtov S’ 
vito Kvpov tov Tlipcrov /caTawoXepT/ffevTOS peTa- 
irecrelv ttjv fHacnXeLav et? II epaat, irepl cbv rjpe I? 
t a KaTa, pepo ? iv rot? tStoi? Xpov°i<; d/cpificbs 

7 Ilept ^tei/ ovv tt)<; 'Acrcrvpicov /cal MyScov j3acn- 
\eta? /cal t?}? tcov crvyypacpecov 8iacj)covia<; i/cavm 
elpTjaOai vopL^ouev irepl Se t i)? 'Ii/St/ei)? /mi twi/ 
eV ai/Trj pvBoXoyovpevcov iv pepei Siegipev. 


BOOK II. 34. 5-7 

death, in gratitudc for her benefactions and in 
remembrance of her virtues, built her a tomb which 
was far the largest of any in thcir land; for they 
erected a triangular pyramid, making the length of 
each side three stades and the height one stade, and 
bringing it to a point at the top; and on the tomb 
they also placed a colossal gilded statue of her and 
accordcd her the honours belonging to heroes, and 
all the other honours they bestowed upon her were 
more magnificent than those which had fallen to the 
lot of her ancestors. 

When, Ctesias continues, Astibaras, the king of 
the Medes, died of old age in Ecbatana, his son 
Aspandas, whom the Greeks call Astyages, succeeded 
to the throne. And when he had been defeated by 
Cyrus the Persian,the kingdom passed to the Persians. 
Of them we shall give a detailed and exact aecount 
at the proper time. 1 

Conceming the kingdoms of the Assyrians and of 
the Medes, and eoncerning the disagreement in the 
accounts of the historians, we consider that enough 
has been said; now we shall discuss India and then, 
in tum, recount the legends of that land. 

1 This was in the Nintli Book. 



Astyages, 457 f., 465 
Atbena, 43, 45, 55 
Athenaeas, 417 f. 

Athens, 91 possim 
Athyrtis, 189 
Attica, 63 

Babylon, In Egypt, 197 
Babylon, in Mesopotamia, 91, 351, 
371 ff., 383 

Babylonia, 387 possim 
Bactra, 366 ff., 401, 403, 417 

Barzanes, 353 
Belesys, 429 possim 

BfSri^flW, 224 f., 271, 3 
Bolgii, 131 
Borcanii, 355 
BousirU, 293 

appear in the last Tolume. 








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